How powerful is the language that we use?
We all know people that talk this way; in fact, maybe you talk this way yourself. You say something, in jest of course, like “hey dork” to your best friend.
We don’t really mean it, right? It’s all a joke, right? A joke is defined in the dictionary as “an object of laughter”. Is it really that funny to say mean things in jest to others? What is the energy frequency we are sending to others when we do this?
Our words all have power, so what type of power are we sending out when we say things like this? We only do it around people we really care about right?
“Many a true word hath been spoken in jest…” From “Wise Words and Wives’ Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New” by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993). I wonder how much truth there is in the words we are saying this way.
It might be how we are truly feeling underneath but we are afraid to say, except in ‘jest.’ It might be because we are afraid of silence around others and feel we need to say something, anything to connect, so instead of just smiling and being present in the moment with the person we care about, we say something “jokingly” but subtly cruel. Does this come from our own wounding, from our mouth not connecting to our brain at the moment, being conditioned from the 20th-century media tools, or because someone else said something in the same frequency to us, and we are just passing it on (so we don’t have to hang onto it energetically anymore).
Some might say, “I am just making light of something, I don’t mean any harm.” But, energetically are we really making light of something or taking light “off of something” — when really it undercuts the person energetically? Sounds like a barbaric way to control people if you ask me — keep cutting them down so they feel bad about themselves consistently, but in a joking, subtle way. Mmmm.
Maybe this all started in the 1980s when Michael Jackson changed the word “bad” to mean a good thing. I am not sure, but it has become commonplace in many conversations.
We don’t really say it, intentionally do we? So why do we say it at all? Isn’t there another way we can laugh and positively have fun without cutting someone down? It does not stop there, of course, our kids pick it up and pass it around schools, and of course, we say these things to ourselves, but subtly, our negative self-talk. How does this really help any of us?
Don’t get me wrong, I have a great sense of humor, and humor is an incredible tool for so many positive reasons. And I am not trying to describe a Polly-Anna world where we are all positive robots, without freely using our minds to think individually.
What I am trying to do is to make us aware. Aware of what we say to others, aware of what we say to ourselves.
Is there a better choice we can make on this level so that it doesn’t go to the next level, as things sometimes do in language evolution over time? Is there a way we can joke positively to encourage people energetically at all levels? Do we have the words for this yet? Does the vocabulary exist in our minds and our expressions? Are we able to tap into love at that level of depth within us?
This all started for me when I jokingly called my son “butthead,” remembering Beavis and ButtHead from the TV show in the ’90s. Of course, he never saw the show and told me he was offended by the term of endearment and asked me not to call him that again.
I hadn’t really thought about it before, but at that point, I became more aware of what I was saying to him, to myself, and others. I agree with Wikipedia’s definition that “Most terms of endearment are concrete nouns that have favorable associations…” Dork and butthead definitely are not favorable words.
Of course, some people take the next step of making these subtle actions into a judgment, albeit an unspoken one, which can then grow into more assumptions about others without ever being curious as to what the real truth is because it has become so distorted at that point that no one remembers where or why it was started in the first place.
This is what my original point was; to be aware. Aware of what is really happening with communication in your world, are you speaking someone else’s truth, or your own. Are you telling others how you really feel or making jokes on the surface to help make you feel good so you don’t have to look at your buried feelings? Are you becoming aware and yet afraid of your own places where you are wounded, and it is easier to share this pain with others without really addressing it effectively? They love you right, so they don’t mind. Or are you working hard to connect with those that mean the most to you at a deeper level and laughing at the truly funny things in life?
Some truths, too painful or too likely to provoke, can be spoken only when the listener has been disarmed by laughter. A proverbial truth known for centuries, this notion was apparently first recorded by Chaucer with the line, ‘A man may say full sooth (truth) in-game and play,’ from ‘Canterbury Tales’ (c. 1387).
So now, as we prepare for our holiday celebrations with those we love, can we promise ourselves to be ‘present’ in love, silent in acceptance, or vocal in truthful, positive communication that opens our own hearts to connect with the true holiday spirit.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!