I recently came back to the UK from my wife’s homeland of Russia - a land that was once a place of strange sounds and foreign symbols to me. This time I found myself understanding a little more Russian than I did the last time I was there.
Gradually, my relationship with the language has changed, just as it has with my own mother tongue.
Language is amazing, and if you’re an adult you’ll have been using it for many years and probably barely given it a second thought, but it’s worth remembering that language isn’t who you are, it doesn’t actually contain your thoughts and that pure truth cannot be contained in the words themselves.
The truth is what creates them. You aren’t the words, you are the silence that creates.
You’ll hear people say that ‘language is powerful’.
Some people will even tell you that certain phrases are bad for you and that you have to go on a negative self-talk diet:
“This is a problem.”
Apparently you have to call it a ‘challenge’.
“Why does this always happen to me?”
Apparently ‘always’ is a generalisation that deletes happy thoughts.
“I’m never happy.”
Apparently ‘never’ stops you noticing the times you’ve been happy.
Now – don’t get me wrong - I’m not criticising the cunning linguists out there. There seems to me to be immense value in learning about the structure of language and how we create sentences that can be unhelpful at times. I’ve done my fair share of that.
But even more powerful is to look at the very fact that we create not only our unique use of a language (idiolect), but we also create the very thoughts that language attempts to convey. It’s important to remember that your language can’t truly keep you stuck, because your spiritual nature means you aren’t stickable.
“But I’m different. I am stuck, Nick”
OK. Ponder this with me....
If you’re still searching for answers, ‘negative self-talk’ may seem like a problem, but I promise you it isn’t. The only stumbling block is not realising what a ‘problem’ is truly made of. It’s a creation. A creation made not of circumstances, people or of words, but of thought.
Solving a problem is not about WHAT you think, or even HOW you think. It's only ever the very fact THAT you think that releases you of the problem. The mind’s innate capacity to think something else.
I’m not even telling you to use that capacity. I’m just reminding you that it’s there.
Problems are judgements that remain unquestioned. Whenever judging stops, and stop it always does, so too does the creation of ‘problem’.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.”