Part 2: Practical Examples of Ownership Language
I look around and see so many things that say “Stop doing THIS!” or “Don’t do/think/act THIS way!” or even “Fight THIS!”
With so much negative bombardment, is it any wonder I feel so overwhelmed and defeated much of the time, especially when I scroll through Facebook? Part of what wears me down is the constant litany of commandments urging me to do something. From advertising (“Buy THIS!”) to politics (“Vote for THIS!”) to spirituality (“Believe in THIS!”) I am constantly being told what to do. It strips me of my own personal power (or it seeks to) in order to control my actions.
I found myself asking questions about how to deal with my feelings surrounding this this, such as:
- How about I allow others to just be who they are and think what they want?
- What would it be like if I stop commodifying people and ideas?
- How about I GENUINELY inquire about the other person?
- What would it feel like if I really cared to hear the answer when I ask, “How are you?”
- How about stopping and actually answering that question when someone asks it of me, even if they are not prepared to take the time to hear the answer – at least I will hear myself saying it and I can check in with how I really am doing in that moment?
- Would I feel any different if I actually paid attention to the people around me instead of viewing them as anonymous faces and blank spots that are just moving around and getting in the way of me going from here to there?
I get so caught up in running from the constant barrage of commandments and coercion of my thoughts and actions that I put on virtual armor and blinders any time I go out (including onto social media.) I find myself dead-set on the goal I was setting out to achieve (get the bread, cash the check, drive to class) that I forget that the journey to each of these tasks is the bulk of my life. I forget that the journey IS the journey.
It is exhausting to be so ignorant of the world around me in the name of self-protection and goal achievement. Therefore, I choose to step away to a quieter place instead of letting this constant noise grind me down. I choose to slow the pace and actually look around me as I go from place to place. I will still achieve my original goals, but I will also achieve goals I had never even considered because the journey itself becomes flexible and I am open to the new things that surface along the way. If anyone wants to come along on this journey, I will be over here in the corner, drawing with my crayons (both physical and metaphorical) and thinking (and acting) in a way that feels genuine to me…
Notice that throughout this entire blog series on ownership language, I have been talking about my OWN thoughts, actions, and feelings and not imposing them on others. I had to go back and correct myself a few times because it is easy to find myself not using ownership language when talking about how I feel about these things and what I might be able to do to change it. Switching to ownership language is a practice, and like any practice, the more I do it, the better I get with it. And it was so tempting to say, “The more you do it the better you get with it…” So see? It really is a practice.
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