The Words We Speak
"The words you speak become the house you live in." -Hafiz
I remember when I first read those words, and it hit me hard. I was going through a divorce at the time, and I remember talking to people about my life. My problems. My drama. I started realizing that I was creating my own story and this realization caught a hold of me. Did I really want this to be my identity? Did I really want to become what I was saying? Even if the words were true, is this who I wanted to be?
I wanted to be better than that. I didn't want a situation to define who I was. I didn't want to be bitter and I especially didn't want my pain to carry over into the next chapter of my life.
So I started being mindful of the words I said.
I realized that the words I spoke every day had a great deal of power as they were actually starting to form my reality. Just by speaking the words. The more often I spoke the words, the more real they became.
I realized that I was dwelling on the bad things rather than the good. I was focusing on my pain. If this was NOT who I wanted to be, I knew I had to change it. I realized it must be possible to turn my world around and start new, simply by the words I would speak and the thoughts I chose to focus on.
I remember when it all changed for me. At the time, I was working several jobs, taking care of my family, and going through a rough time at the end of my marriage of 18 years. I carried the burden with me, obviously on my sleeve, and on my face. And I remember being pulled aside at work one day and was asked what was bothering me. At first I felt the need to share my problems with my manager, and discuss what I was going through. I realized only after I walked to my car after work that I was now on their radar as having problems that might affect my job. Did the information go into my file? Who knows. But my manager knew I was having a hard time outside of work. And that was enough.
I was working at an office during the day, and as a server and bartender at night. I didn't sleep a lot, and the stress I was feeling from my unraveling marriage was almost overwhelming. But I was a good server and really loved my customers. And I tried hard to not make any mistakes. But sometimes, they just happened.
One night, I had been helping a large group cash out their bills (they were all paying separately, which took me a long time), and I had forgotten to put another tables order in. I thought I put it. I remember being at the computer and going over their order. But somehow, it didn't get sent in, and I didn't realize they were upset until they called me over to the table and asked about their food. The couple was very unhappy and had asked to see a manager.
Rather than making excuses, I apologized and told them it was completely my fault and that I was truly sorry, but that we would make things right. I immediately talked to the manager and the people were taken care of. They even left with a smile and left me a tip.
However, that night, after my shift, I was written up. I was told that I was distracted due to my problems at home, and I was bringing those problems to work with me and it was affecting my job. If written up three times for the same reason, I would be fired.
I don't take defeat lightly. I don't like to fail, and I hate letting others down. And this hurt. I had never been written up before. I needed that job, and it was a simple mistake. But I also asked myself, was what they said true?
Was I letting my thoughts and stressful life at home affect my job?
The answer was yes. I was. And I couldn't do that.
I didn't sleep well that night. Instead, I spent a great deal of time pondering how I was going to take control of the situation. How was I going to make it up to them? How was I going to stand tall and not let them feel like I let my personal life affect my job. I wasn't going to let them break me. I wasn't going to let them believe that I was going to fail them. That I wasn't worth having around anymore.
On my way to work the following day, rather than listening to the radio, I decided to talk myself up as high as I possibly could. I was feeling horrible and knew that I could not walk into work feeling so low. So I suddenly screamed out: "I am F***king AMAZING!" I didn't care if anyone saw me. My windows were rolled up and didn't think anyone could hear me. But I didn't really care. I said it over and over until I felt a change come over me.
It felt exhilarating. Like I was letting the pain go. I felt stronger with every word. I started turning all of my mistakes around from the previous shift at work, and instead of saying "I will try not to let that happen again", I said "I don't let that happen". And it empowered me. For the entire commute to work, I was talking myself up by saying out loud:
"I am F***king AMAZING! I hold my head up high. I walk tall. I don't make mistakes often. And when I do, I own them. I apologize and move on and I don't make them again. I don't forget to put orders in. I don't forget to refill drinks. I am an amazing server and my customers love me. I bring light to others and I am confidant in who I am...." and so on.
By the time I got to work, I was standing tall. I walked into work with my head held high and knew without a doubt that I was indeed F***king Amazing. I didn't need anyone else to tell me that. I knew it. And I felt it run through my entire body. I was F***king AMAZING! And guess what? That shift was smooth and incredible, and I didn't make any of those same mistakes. I was focused on what I needed to do and I was truly F***king amazing that night.
This went on for a few weeks. I felt that a seed of change had been planted inside of me. And it was being watered with every positive word I told myself. Did I need to say the "F" word to make my point? No. But for some reason, it meant more to me. Like I really meant it. And it also gave me this sense of strength and an attitude of "Don't F**k with me" which I really needed to have. I'm not one to fight with people. But I liked this newer version of ME and I wasn't going to let someone else's negative crap bring me down. I liked being F***king Amazing!
I saw first hand the power that positive thinking had on me. The power of words. The power of owning who I was. The power to make my vibrations feel so high, that when the low ones came, I would be strong enough to handle them quickly and move on. This changed the direction of my life. Instead of dreading work, I realized that I had the ability to make the dining experience special for my customers.
The words I spoke became the house I live in.
My house, MY LIFE. And I am going to continue to build that house of mine with words of strength, words of love, words of understanding and forgiveness.
I am going to build my house to be F***king amazing.
Because that is what I am.
And that, my friend, is what you are too!
YOU are f***king amazing. Hold your head up high, take a deep breath in and breathe all that bad shit out. You got this.