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I Love You, but...

It's time to toss out more words about words. For the past two years I've observed more and more people using words as weapons. I've heard people in one breath speak gratitude for our freedom of speech, then in the next breath curse someone else for using that freedom to express themselves. Battles of words abound on social media. Finger pointing, curses, threats... all too commonplace. Even people who genuinely care for each other are often careless with their words. Being perfect with our word (The Four Agreements reference intended) should not be so difficult. The only things we have control over are our actions and our reactions, and so often our reactions come out as words released without thought. Maybe it's because the world has become so fast paced, the Earth seeming to spin faster each day, we expect everything instantly: fast food, direct messaging, "come on light, change already", we have forgotten that it's okay to pause. It's okay to use commas and semicolons. It's okay to take a breath and think for a moment before we respond, and if we pause long enough we might realize a response isn't even necessary. Sometimes it's more important to not say something, to just listen. Every disagreement does not need to be a battle. Life does not have to be a competition. We do not need to knock others down in order to build ourselves up. People will know how brightly your light shines by your actions. People will also know you by your reactions. Always be mindful of the power of your words. It takes practice. Example: How many times have you started a sentence with, "I love you, but..."? That simple word "but" negates whatever sentiment precedes it. "I love you, but sometimes you make me so angry." The love was erased, replaced with anger. What if we reversed it? "You sometimes make me angry, but I love you." Negate the anger, leave off with the love. Or what if we get really radical and just remind them and ourselves, even through our frustration, and use the rebuttal, "I love you." Instead of, "I hear you, but I disagree with you" or even, "I disagree with you, but I hear you", we take it the full journey to, "I hear you." Social media has both edit and delete options. Let's get better at using them. Words we say out loud cannot be taken back. Take a deep breath. Pause. Decide if words are necessary, then choose wisely and kindly. Peace and Love, Beth 

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