The cost of words and the gift of them

We live in a society where we are desensitized to how we come across to people. The gift of words can be as compelling as a gift or be like a knife, without you even knowing. I submit that everyone walking this earth has dealt with some difficult times in their life. When you speak to a friend, family member or casual acquaintance, you will never know what may uplift their day, upset them or trigger an old wound.

We also have no common language to express our pain and hurt in a socially acceptable, friendly way. Yes, there are many techniques you can learn, yet how many people will learn the same techniques as you do, so that when there is a sticky situation, you both are on the same page?

In our very full lives, whenever we feel hurt or wounded, we will often give that hurt to the next or some other person unwillingly. There is no peace inside of us when we are hurt. The next person who exhibits unrest to you in some way will get that inner irritation from you in some sort of sideways comment. Something you normally wouldn't say nor do, whether they are a friend or stranger, pain will express itself. The energy alone of your feeling hurt, even if you are saying something that is normally acceptable, will sting another. You cannot will yourself to be OK when you are not — it's unconscious.

These situations exist all day long and keep us separated from each other.

To me, it has become intolerable, and I am looking for a solution — a common way to express when things go awry in a relationship. In my experience, when there is a conflict, the old way or typical reaction is for people to run away from each other, take their love and presence away or damage each other further by using more words that wound. Just hearing someone you love or care about say "I don't want to talk about this" is so hurtful.

So I am looking for the solution within me. Investigating. Asking my divine to help me see clearly and understand my own responsibility to my communication. Where have I hurt others with my words? What have I done to others that hurt them so much they could not talk to me anymore? What have I said that touched an old wound and kept people from relating to me any longer?

The answers come and I change, regularly. Life gives me lots of practice. When a conflict comes up I look to see how authentic I can be toward myself first. It seems to be working because there are fewer conflicts between me and others. And the interesting thing is I notice more happy people around me rather than people in conflict. This slows my reaction and my responses, I'm noticing more. I find that my responses become more loving toward others because I am checking to see what I need first, which is also a loving act toward me.

Sacred living is the vision that motivates me in life. Within its very nature are keys to keeping love present. The question is when will we all have the same goals — to keep relationships honest, authentic, vulnerable, real and deepening to a place where love exists even when there is a wound?

Shazna Jai is a spiritual teacher and guide, Reiki master teacher and author living and working in Ashland. 541-210-2892

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