…I bet I already know how you finished that phrase, if you speak American English as a native. lol. Actually, I have rocks in my thoughts, so perhaps you aren’t far off? ūüôā ¬†I’m 15 days from my birthday…my new aquarium is standing in its place, ready to be leak tested, and waiting a final equipment check. ¬†Yesterday I delighted my senses with a visit to a nearby landscaping business for some choice rocks for the decor. (Yes, I am the sort of being who finds searching great piles of river rock for just the right ones quite entertaining and satisfying.) ¬† My experience is one of ‘creating a world’. lol. Grand of me, I know, but it is the sort of imagination I have, and really the metaphors while I also ‘work on me’ are endless and wonderful.

...a box of rocks.

…a box of rocks.

The box of rocks is exciting on its own, but it also got me thinking about aphorisms, homilies, figures of speech, slogans, and idioms; shortcuts we take to communicate. ¬†Thinking on that ‘box of rocks’ and how we take communication shortcuts that rely on our listener’s own experience, history, and culture to understand us (by implication) as much as explicitly through our own unique verbiage, (if not more so) quickly put my attention on the clear contradiction between embracing a genuine life and genuine sense of self (sense of genuine self?) and taking verbal shortcuts. ¬†Only 15 days left, and the first half ends…so, I will commit to avoiding the use of figures of speech, slogans, idioms, homilies, and aphorisms for the next 15 days. ¬†Why? I mean, we all use them (some of us more than others). Aren’t they pretty harmless? Well… maybe, but it struck me that colorful or not, expressive or not, they are both lazy and imprecise – and in no case is a choice to use someone else’s phrasing truly ‘my own voice’. Worse still, so many times lately, at the heart of some bit of logical fallacy, error in reasoning, failure to take care of myself emotionally, or moment of treating someone else less well than I could have, I find some verbal shortcut that has become, over time, ‘programming’ instead. ¬†It starts with nursery rhymes and rote memorization in childhood, and slowly becomes who we are.

Maybe you think I’m taking this too seriously? ‘ Making a mountain out of a…’ ¬†I don’t need to finish that, do I?¬†Ok,¬† maybe it seems a small thing, and unlikely to change the way any of us view the world we live in. Perhaps. I mean… Science is safe from sloppy language becoming programming, right? Hmmm… maybe. Again, maybe. What if I ask you what the moon is made of? If the little voice inside your consciousness quickly quips ‘green cheese’ in the background – even though you know it is not¬†factual– just maybe this is a bigger deal than seems obvious. ¬†I’m at least going to give myself 15 days to be who I am, using my own words as much and as often as possible – even correcting myself if I catch myself taking a short-cut through the programming. lol. Why? Because ‘I love you, too.’ means more when it isn’t a knee jerk reaction to someone else saying ‘I love you’, and ‘because I want to be heard’…my own thoughts…my own words…the things that matter to me, about me, to be understood by others.

While I walked to work, I gave the matter of words a bit of thought, well, a lot of thought. I came up with uncountable numbers of simple phrases heard over my lifetime that have become something beyond a sentence or a simple thought – they are cultural programming. ¬†I won’t list them, you no doubt have your own, I simply suggest that for me, it is time to retire as many phrases, and sentences, that I quickly reach for every day, in favor of more genuine heartfelt communication. ¬†If it auto-completes in my head, I’ll be looking for other words. lol.

…In other words, 50 seems a nice point in life to be who I am.

Being one, among many.

Being one, among many.