“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” This is true sometimes, but not always.
It’s a little weird that we would use a string of words (like in the quote above) to say that words are not important in terms of content as much as how we say them. And yet, can the same meaning be extracted by using completely irrelevant words, but just the right tone?
Deconstructing Words (Using More Words)
People easily take for granted the things in their every day life that were always there, like speech, and the fact that they are always breathing.
The latter might seem like it deserves to be paid little attention to, since we have much more important things to be concerned about and luckily oxygen isn’t going anywhere.
However, focusing on our breath to bring ourselves to the present moment is the essence of meditation.
Meditation sometimes sounds like some mystical practice that is similar to praying, but it isn’t.
It’s focusing on things that are happening now, and since we are always breathing when alive, it serves as the best object of focus.
So Meditation Is Great, So What?
The point here is this – something we take for granted can actually give us a lot of value, when we pay attention to it.
The same goes for words, and everything we do that involves words (like thinking or judging others).
Many people see themselves as their thoughts, they don’t see the separation. People think, they aren’t the thought process.
This is sadly not very well known. One of the reasons we feel so misunderstood sometimes is because we think what we say is an exact replica or representation of our inner feelings and ideas. Or we may even mistake it for being the real thing.
Words are not the same as our feelings, perceptions and desires. They are tools we use to portray those very feelings, perceptions and desires.
Truly realizing this will make you self-conscious at first, since you might start to be very careful with what you say, especially if you had a habit of saying things you regret or didn’t mean to say and always ask yourself, “why did I say that?”
You will cringe or maybe feel grateful that you are starting to get out of that habit, since you’ll begin to realize the dangers of speaking recklessly or speaking before thinking.
Words carry a lot of power, and it is wise to know when and how to use that power responsibly. A good way to start is to consciously stop yourself from responding or speaking without thinking. Even if it’s a simple “yes” or “no,” pause for 1 second before you open your mouth. It’s good practice and will help you build a habit of thinking before speaking.