Do you ever find yourself saying or thinking the words, I don’t care?
I do. Or, at least, I did, countless times throughout the day. Almost every time I encountered something I didn’t like, something I felt indifferent about, something that gave me resistance, something that asked me to compromise my position or alter my plans, these words would pop into my mind:
I don’t care.
But the thing is, I do care.
I care a lot, about a lot of people and about a lot of things. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that by using these words, I was limiting myself. I was relinquishing the power that every person has to make decisions about who he/she is and the kind of life he/she wants to live. Essentially, by allowing myself to use these words, words that felt so natural to me, words that I had been using for years without really knowing why, I had been giving control of my life over to the people and the circumstances surrounding me.
I had been making myself powerless.
These days, every time I find myself saying or thinking the words, I don’t care.
I immediately negate them by saying, Wait a minute. I do care. And then I go on to think of other ways that I can say what I am thinking and feeling, ways that express my love, my concern, and my opinion; ways that don’t compromise the person that I am; ways that don’t relinquish the very real individual/personal power that I have.
I don’t mind if ... It doesn’t bother me if … I'm not opposed to … I don’t like ~, but I’m not going to … I’m happy with anything that … I’m okay with …
Any of the above statements reflect a decision that the speaker/thinker has made, a stance that he/she has taken. The semantics here may seem small and insignificant, but they are not. When repeated multiple times a day for weeks, months, years, small, seemingly harmless words and phrases can have huge implications.
For me, growing my awareness about the way I think and speak, and the words that I choose to use is not about taking power back, because power cannot be taken back. Growing my awareness about the way I think and speak, and the words that I choose to use is about putting a stop to the way I, often unknowingly, relinquish the stores of power that I have to the people and the situations around me. It is about becoming stronger … better … and about taking control of myself. All of which are things I want to do because ...
Few people, I think, would argue against the idea that words have power.
Words give shape to our thoughts. They speak to our emotions. They carry information, both inward and outward.
Words have the ability to lift us up and/or bring us down. They have the ability to change who we are. When we choose our words, we choose the shape of our thoughts. When we choose the shape of our thoughts, we choose the type of person that we want to be; we choose the kind of life that we want to live. When we make conscious decisions about the kinds of people we want to be and the kinds of lives we want to live, we begin to change ourselves; and by changing ourselves, we begin to change the world around us.
Just as one can work from the inside out to change his/her life, a person can also work from the outside in.
The way to work from the outside in is by making decisions about the information, the emotions, and the words that we allow to enter our subconscious being.