So often we talk about what we don’t want in our lives. “I don’t want a partner who lies to me.” “I don’t like my job.” The insidious, “I can’t sing, I can’t resign from my job, sell my house, live alone … ”
The ubiquitous “I’ll try to” that reflects our ambivalence and disempowerment. Or the threadbare, “I’ll see what I can do”, or the terminal, ” we’ll see”… Thickets of thorny don’ts barricade our path to change and new growth. The slippery, non-committal words that signify nothing. The “buts” that negate and nullify. They are the fear and self-righteous judgement that bind us to the ever-spinning wheel of Ixion, tormented by our self-defeating thoughts and habitual behaviours.
Words wound and scar. With reptilian-like dispassion our forked tongues spew the putrid gossip that oozes around the office or our homes. We lacerate our partners, our children, our colleagues with words that make fragile hearts weep. Most of us have a habitual vibrational frequency, well-worn neural pathways in our brains that allow us to keep thinking those thoughts, feeling those emotions, saying the words that resonate with that frequency. Our aching bodies speak of our inner conflict, symptoms of a frequency that can make us literally ill.
Last year, the Italian clothing company, Benetton’s “Unhate” Campaign, was aimed at fostering tolerance and “global love”. It featured the provocative and superbly Photoshopped image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a senior Egyptian imam. This image of love was too strong for the barnacled bastion of the Vatican, but it was the slogan, “Unhate”, that drew my attention. Bob Nicoll, author of Remember the Ice, uses the NLP model to reframe words and eliminate what he dubs the (K)notty words – the not’s, the don’ts. So, if we say, “don’t talk about Bill’s affair with Susan,” our confused brain will do just that! When I read “Unhate”, my energy dropped as I registered the word, “Hate”.
In the dark shadow of the cataclysmic First World War, a woman called Blanche Ebbutt, compiled two slim volumes of do’s and don’ts for a happy marriage. I would like to share these “how-tos” of 1913 with you in 2012:
The Don’ts for Wives:
Don’t be out if you can help it when your husband gets home after his day’s work.
Don’t let him have to search the house for you. Listen for his latch-key and meet him on the threshold.
Don’t omit the kiss of greeting. It cheers a man when he is tired to feel that his wife is glad to see him home.
Don’t greet him at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by servants during the day.
Don’t think your husband horrid if he seems a bit irritable; probably he has had a very trying day, and his nerves are overwrought.
As Bob Nicoll, points out, when faced with the don’t, this is what we are advised to do: Be out when your husband gets home. Let him have to search for you. Skip the kiss of greeting. Greet him at the door with a catalogue of dreadful crimes. Think your husband horrid if he seems a bit irritable.
I could not resist the Don’ts for Husbands, in the interest of gender balance, of course:
Don’t sulk when things go wrong. If you can’t help being vexed, say so, and get it over with.
Don’t “nag” your wife. If she has burnt the cake, or has forgotten to sew on a button, she doesn’t want to be told of it over and over again.
Don’t shout when you are angry. It isn’t necessary to let the children or the servants know all about it.
Don’t scowl or look severe. Cultivate a pleasant expression if Nature hasn’t blessed you with one.
Don’t “let off steam” on your wife or children every time anything goes wrong in the garage or the garden, or the fowl house, or the dark room.
So, if we remove the (K)notty words, the message we receive will be:
Sulk when things go wrong. “Nag” your wife. If she has burnt the cake or forgotten to sew on a button, she wants to be told over and over again. Scowl and look severe. “Let off steam” on your wife or children every time anything goes wrong. (This last one could be grounds for building a case for how potential abuse occurs…. says Nicoll.)
Words are potent tools to change our perceptions, lift our energy to a higher vibrational level. Each one has meaning and a vibration and can change the course of our lives. By judging anything bad, or wrong, we stay stuck in the swamps of negativity and block our inner Guidance. Let’s self-censor before they slide out, razor-sharp, and cut someone today. Instead, try this on, see how it feels: “I love you, I will never leave you, and I will always take care of you. (Said to oneself.)” Elizabeth Gilbert