I started swearing one weekend when I was 18; a bit of a late start. I had just moved to a small town in Canada from a conservative Middle Eastern nation, and my new cool friends happened to swear often. It was great – feeling like a part of the group by mimicking the dominant words and tone. We would project angst off each other and keep the circular conversation going for hours! I didn’t know about energy or consciousness at the time.
Some years later, those friendships either fell away or evolved – the natural evolution of friends when they get married, have kids, or live abroad for years – and the subjects spoken about also change, along with the words. As quickly as I started swearing, I stopped. My relationship to swearing came from the simple human desire to be accepted and fit in.
We have a surprisingly complicated relationship with our words, some more than others. For some people, those words may be God or Church. For others, it’s divorce or being single. Taboos often compound cultural and personal context, and we pick up stuff from media and family as well, so most times, this is quite the tough knot to open up.
This complicated relationship is seen and felt in mainstream media, where the censorship and shame culture are so prevalent. Where I live in Canada, our leader is working hard to pass a series of bills revoking citizens’ rights to free speech. This is symptomatic of an unconscious relationship to our words.
Re-patterning our verbal expression is a beautiful process of alchemy – it is truly magical.
With just a little effort, some love, and awareness towards our words, they start to change with time – both the words we speak to ourselves in our minds and the words we speak out loud to others.
Take the word, God, for example. Once the thousand-year-old institutional pattern of the “judgmental man in the sky” starts to dissolve, we discover the personal freedom to explore what the word actually and truly means to us. We get to journey into the depths of ourselves and learn what our true relationship is or is not with whatever and whoever we understand God to be.
Some of us have trauma, abandonment, or punishment associated with God. This was taught to us by world religions, and perhaps our culture and family propagated the teachings to hold control over us, often using the fear-guilt-shame trifecta. So, the heaviness associated with the words: God, church, temples, priests, and religion is logical. This is where the journey begins; with an exploration of beliefs, words, phrases, memories, and visuals, perhaps from childhood. This journey is made up of daily steps that define our walk from the enslaved state to the state of empowerment.
For me, personally, God scared me. Like my parents, I had a transaction-like relationship and always felt subservient to this being that was grading and judging me. Not surprisingly, I lived with an inordinate amount of hate, rage, anger, and rebellion directed inward (and upward towards God).
It is more simple for me now. God to me is love in any and every form – a cool breeze on a warm day, a fresh calendula blossom, a life experience that nudges me towards openness and the comfort of a friend.
It is a bizarrely disorienting feeling to hate something, or be angry at God so intensely for years, only to find that these feelings occur due to heavy ancient programming. Once that starts to release, we may not know how to feel. The confusion is actually the start of something beautiful because it symbolizes that we are not our patterns, but now we are The Fool (in tarot or the hero’s journey), taking a step to find what “our” truth is. Not what we were told or programmed.
Once I allowed for this new meaning, the law of attraction kicked in, and I realized that others have walked in my path.
I found that in the Sufi tradition, the Divine exists everywhere, in every cell and molecule, and humans endeavor to find the Divine in everything – from trashcan to mountain top. I do not follow Sufism, or any tradition, really, but if I hear or read something that resonates, I definitely smile and take it in.
I’ve realized how important it is for me to take time with my words and observe what they actually mean for who I am today and reclaim the story and emotion behind them. I found that through this process, my voice, tone, and cadence are more naturally mine.
I believe that when our words and speech resonate with our essential selves, and we express the truth of who we are, and our light shines brighter and stronger.