Safe Words

“I’m tired…” or “another day another dollar”… or “Dammit!” Safe words, words learned early in life whether actively used since childhood or not. Words we use to “catch all” of the things we feel and think. Problem is, we rarely examine what we really mean when we say “I’m tired” or “dammit” and even rarer, express what that word “feels like.” Some would call it a lack of emotional intelligence; I think it’s “programming;” behavior also learned over time. Parents, older siblings, television and music, these ‘constants’ playing on our psyche. Mind you, we aren’t merely “sponges,” but intelligent beings capable of deciphering, rejecting and accepting what moves us. And yet, making choices in life, we also choose “safe routes” and passages to navigate through the ever changing landscape around us. To the extent, certain roads we will not travel because it was either identified as unsafe or we choose to think it is so.

Words are also familiar roads. They are choices we have decided are safe to express. For example, if I told my coworkers I really am angry that I have to be here, doing work I would rather not, I’m fairly certain they would bristle up and walk away from me. It’s easier to express: “I’m tired” and it can always be attributed to having insomnia or a bad night’s sleep. I get all sorts of suggestions of teas or melatonin, but I’m not getting to the root of what’s really bothering me. And let’s just break it down: examining the problem isn’t a solution or offering choices to be happy - which is ultimately what we want.

We want to be fulfilled; we want to live our lives in such a way that we are happy about our choices and those with which we live and work. We want to truly rest at the end of the day, having completed tasks, made a positive impact around us and looking forward to rising the next day to do more of the same and better.

Yet, “I’m tired” is that old song we know and hate and love. My suggestion (I’m doing it as I write) is dig deeper; examine that paths not taken, the words and feelings you are certain you are not worthy to explore. Challenge yourself to dream and take action to align yourself to right thoughts, feelings, behavior and “words” that are more fulfilling.