Note : By Nithya Shanti
I’ve noticed that making slight changes in the way we use common phrases can create a world of a difference in our perception and experience. Here are a few examples that come to mind…
1) This morning my friend Swatantra sent me a message “Thanks and make a great day”. Instead of saying “have”, she said “make”. Can you sense how one is passive and hopeful while the other is active and intentional? I appreciated her lovely insight into this.
2) I found that sometimes more accurate than saying “I love you” is saying “I love us”. In a relationship, it is often the special interplay / exchange / field of possibilities that awakens between the two seemingly separate individuals that is most nourishing and enthralling. “I love us” means I love what both of us represent and bring to this relationship. I still say I love you, and sometimes I also like to say I love us. I love who I am in your presence and who you are and who we are together.
3) Instead of appreciating others saying “What I have seen in you is…”, which is based on what we have observed in the past, we can say, “What I see / sense in you is…”, which means looking past their superficial persona into underlying gifts, qualities and potentials. The very act of seeing and saying this activates untapped possibilities. It magnifies appreciation to a whole new level. What we see in others we evoke in others.
4) Sometimes people tell me that I look like Farhan Akhtar – a Bollywood star. I playfully correct them that he looks like me 😉. This is mostly in jest, but it is also a subtle and important distinction. To tell someone they look like a famous person is to put that distant person on a pedestal. To tell someone that a famous person looks like them is to acknowledge the person actually in front of you.
5) When people ask me about my followers or even refer to themselves as my followers, I gently say “you mean my friends”. Followers follow. It’s a pretty one way relationship. Saying “Friends” sets up a more equal and dynamic relationship where each ones skills, abilities and calling gets acknowledged without automatically assuming one is better / wiser than others.
I could go on. For now this seems adequate. The main point I suppose I am making here is that we can become increasingly sensitive to the implications of what we say, how we say it, and the kind of experience and frequency it generates.
You are of-course welcome to share examples of subtle distinctions you can think of in the comments below.