"Do you listen with your HEART, or with your head?"
Words. Phrases. Language. They are powerful things, those little letters are! They help us to relate our feelings and thoughts, give commands, soothe each other, and to express ourselves both inside and out, but just how important is it that we "get the words right" anyway?
Well, that depends on how we look at it! If we view the words we each use as something fully understood and agreed upon by everyone (speaking our own language, at least), instead of seeing them for what they really are - a personal interpretation of a combination of letters we have been taught to hold a specific meaning - we can find ourselves (literally) lost in translation and feeling completely unheard, or worse even, engaged in conflict!
It really just comes down to semantics. We treat words and language like they are some infallible truth of expression but they are not. Words vary geographically, culturally, generationally, and even familially. They are ONLY worth the value we ascribe to them and even that is constantly changing.
Think of a time in which you have attempted to relay some such experience (be it an emotional, transcendental, or personal one, etc) to another and either found yourself at a total loss for words to adequately describe what you experienced or found yourself to be completely misunderstood when you felt you had found the right words to use. I am pretty sure you can think of many examples. It's semantics. The way one of us views the meaning of a certain word or phrase might or might not hold the same meaning to someone else.
When we begin to see language and words as more of a loosely interpretational tool for expression that is only one of many, rather than a hard and fast absolute, we can become BETTER listeners, and better able to more fully comprehend one another! Why wouldn't we want that?
With the ability of the internet to connect us all so intimately, the responsibility to use and to interpret words carefully and thoughtfully, and at the same time to remember that they are NOT an "absolute" becomes greater than ever before. Words may reside in our heads, but their TRUE comprehension can be found in our hearts and in our gut.
So, next time you find yourself listening to or reading someone's words, listen with your WHOLE BEING for the subtle meaning beneath the letters and watch an entirely new world of understanding open up for you!
Imagine what the world could be like if we ALL did that for each other!?
Peace, blessings, and love! Melinda Erin Whitehead - 2015.
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