Dinner at my mothers. Need I say more? That’s surely a way to kick up 48 years of conversation about food and this one didn’t fail to deliver. About a month ago, I’d shared with my mother that I had not been eating dairy, gluten, sugar blah blah blah. As we were waiting for the rest of the family to join us she said “so you can’t have wine then because it has sugar.”. It was the second or third thing that she’d mentioned that I “couldn’t” have. My response was that I could have wine and that it wasn’t that I couldn’t have any of the things I wasn’t eating it was that I was choosing not to eat them. “That’s right. I have to be careful what I say to you.” Ting… I felt the energy zip through my body on that one! I took a deep breath. “No, it’s not what you say. It’s what I say. If I tell my body it can’t have something, my body says “EF YOU!” and I run off into my restriction conversation.” The conversation was left there because there was so much more to say but for the moment that was all I needed to say.
It’s had me thinking lately, though. Can’t vs. don’t. No choice vs. choice. That word differentiation is so powerful! I do have a choice each day, each and every meal, each bite and in each moment. I get to choose what I eat.
I have family members who don’t eat meat by choice. I don’t remember the conversation about Thanksgiving dinner being “you can’t eat the turkey”. What’s said is “you don’t eat the turkey”. Maybe can’t is used and I just don’t pay it mind because it’s not about my choice but I really don’t think so. This 10 second conversation has created a hyper vigilance in my listening lately. I find myself listening to see when people use the words “can’t” and “don’t”. When do I use them? When do I exert my power in choice vs. my submission to no choice. Will I find myself more empowered as I gain facility around my word choices? Is it just the word choices or the emotions attached to the words or the baggage attached to the speaker of the words or is it D- all of the above?
What are you buzz words? What words bring you down the rabbit hole? I’m not necessarily looking for an answer but giving you something to think about.