The winter here is “miserable.” They “never” want to go out. He “always” says that when he’s mad. The pain of heartbreak is “excruciating.” That outfit is “hideous.” She “constantly” get’s mad at them.
I use to exaggerate as much as the rest of them. It seems harmless really until it starts effecting your entire mentality, until you actually start to believe its extent.
Think about the last time you were in an argument. How many times do you think you used an exaggeration? My go-to words were “never” and “always.” I would push and attack claiming you “never” do this for me, or you “always” bla bla bla when I bla bla bla.
But the thing is, when I would really take a step back, when I would really start to recognize my overuse of these powerful words, I would start to remember the times when he did do that for me, or he didn’t do bla bla bla.
It all goes back to black and white thinking. These exaggerations were the effect of seeing no color. I summed people up to be one way, and therefore the good parts of them were hidden in my rage. I truly started to believe the words I was saying.
I saw the people around me in a totally new light when a kind and knowledgeable counselor advised me to finally cut these words out of my vocabulary.
When you become sensitive to your overuse of these words you become aware of the other person’s tries, and even more aware of his or her humanity. When you avoid the words, you speak more truth, and the closer you get to speaking truth, the closer you will be to living truth. I think this is essential. I think the mind needs to be aware of truth and exaggeration, because you will start see people in the way you speak of them whether it is truth or hyperbole.
Hyperbole, no matter how you phrase it, is a lie, so life in hyperbole will be a lie as well
This mentality goes past “never” and “always.” Think about all the extremes we use. We should save those words, because though winter is hard, there are things out there way harder. Why would I waste my “miserable” on a mere “uncomfortable?”
And think of “excruciating.” I’m sorry you got in a car wreck. I’m sorry you broke a bone. I’m sorry he broke your heart. I’m sorry you had surgery, but let’s really think of the context of the word “excruciating.” It is the word we use when describing Jesus’ pain on the cross. Lord willing, most of us will never know such pain, so it should not be a word used for our stubbed toe or ended puppy love.
We misuse words, and this affects our mentality. Words are so powerful. I wish I could express that enough. We abuse them, and we stretch them, and we dim their meaning.
I challenge you to go back to middle school when you first began to exercise your filters.
We get so comfortable in our speech, and we stop recognizing what we say. So recognize again. Add these words to your filters, and treat them like vulgar language. Alert those around you of your new filters and have them hold you accountable.
Be wise, and speak lovely. Exaggeration is vulgar, let it catch on you tongue, and replace it. Truthful speech will lead to a truthful mentality. A truthful mentality will lead to an honest life. A honest life will lead to lovely relationships.
This is your challenge.
Photography credit: Sarah Jane Walker