Words Matter

The Reflection

These days, I’m aspiring to be more present and precise with how I put words to thoughts or experiences. There’s something more genuine and vulnerable about taking the time to do that. For example, we often hear the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” Currently, I find myself irritated by that statement. What fits better for me is the notion that the things that happen or the experiences we have are valuable prompts for self-reflection. Maybe that’s what the statement means, but I think words lose their meaning when we overuse them — they become rote sound bites we apply to everything.

And then there’s the timing of delivering such statements. Despite our good intentions, when we say, “Everything happens for a reason,” the statement can land in a quite unloving way for someone who’s in the midst of one of life’s storms. In my experience, whatever growth or learning we glean from difficult circumstances is often harvested in hindsight — and, especially, after we’ve had time to digest and metabolize what happened.

Let’s Practice

In your communications with others, try slowing down and giving some space to your thoughts as they become words. Allow yourself time to recognize your thoughts so you can say what you mean and become more transparent in your communications. Watch what happens next and consider how that deepens your connections with others.