Meaningful Phrases – we’ve all heard them from time to time. In fact, some of them are so familiar that we often cringe when we hear them repeated.
So, what’s with these phrases that set our teeth on edge or makes us want to scream and shout with vexation when we’ve heard them said from a well-meaning friend or a sincere peer.
“Keep a stiff upper lip.”
“When I was a kid, I …. .”
“Bear up. All will be well again.”
“Think of good tidings.”
“Cheer up, the worse is yet to come.”
“Count your blessings.”
“Hang in there.”
And so on and so forth. It doesn’t do much for your inner psyche when you hear such endearing comments or well-meaning words coming from their lips, does it?
I mean if you’re in spiritual arrest, is that going to help you through the eternal day or night? Will those phrases quell those anxious feelings, thoughts, or actions that might dominate and persuade you to do something that you really shouldn’t do?
Let’s take a look at some of these words and see what they say to your spiritual self. Yes, you know. That inner feeling that rests within your bosom (don’t squirm or blush, it’s a perfectly legitimate word, and I use it. Deal with it and get over it. Gotcha!)
“Keep a stiff upper lip.” Oh come on. You’ve heard that right before you want to cry, to yell, scream, stomp your foot or strangle someone because something unpleasant happened to you and you’re not sure how to react or not. I mean, come on. Keep a stiff upper lip, really? Where is it written you’ve got to keep your lips stiff when you want to bawl your eyes out. In public, that’s where. In front of your family members where such a display of temperament might not sit so well with the rest of the stiffer upper-lippers in the group.
I’ve got news for you. It’s okay. Cry your heart out. Sob! Rend your breast! Stomp your feet. Let it hang all out. Or suffer the consequences of an ulcer.
“When I was a kid, I … .” Yeah, we’ve all heard that particular saga from our grandparents down to our parents, older siblings, and cousins. Another news flash. Times change. Some for the better. Some for the worse. But, don’t compare your child or children, or younger siblings, or your grandchildren to what you had to endure.
I was born in the 50’s and in 50 years the times have changed. What kids do now, what grandkids do now are so far removed from the 50’s scene that I can’t begin to say by how much! However, their behavior remains the same, and that you can deal with. Otherwise, leave them alone because they’re living in a meaner, nastier, and sometimes cloudy world of technology, global warming, resource scarcities, and an overpopulated world. My hat is off to them on how they’re going to solve this mess that we, the baby boomer generation, has created for them.
“Bear up. All will be well again.” Promise? I bet you can’t because you don’t know and neither do they that things will ever be the same again. Well again, maybe, but that depends on what disturbed the routine in the first place. Deaths take a toll whether from natural causes to Homicide to accidents, to sickness, to what GOD takes away. You can’t guarantee that the family will ever be whole again, love again, trust, the list is endless. You might sympathize with that person, but definitely making and committing to a statement that all will be well again is a false truth since you can’t promise that will happen, now or in the future.
“Think of good tidings.” This one I can honestly say one might be able to say without losing face. You’re asking someone to think of positive things. Think good thoughts. Think positively and positively thoughts will seek and find you. Lesson of the Universe 101.
“Cheer up. The worse is yet to come.” Thank you Prophet Jones. You’ve definitely made my day and of others yet to come or to be. Who wants to hear that type of comment from someone who tells you that they have your spiritual back. Really? That’s how you protect, shelter, and love someone by telling them, be prepared. Run down to the basement and cover yourself with the quilt. That should protect you. That, and 50 cents might buy you a cup of invisible coffee.
“Count your blessings.” Another one I like. Personally, it reminds everyone to remember what they have and what other people don’t have or possibly never have. There are times when I want to wring my own neck, but then I think about all the other people out there who have it worse than me, and it cheers me up considerably.
“Hang in there.” Another one that is viewed two ways. Hang meaning rope swaying in the breeze or Hang meaning life-line and that the life-line makes all the difference since.
Remember the poem, “The Road Not Taken?” I use this poem to remind myself that only me can make the choice to hang (life-line) in there. I’m the one in control, not mother nature, not the milkman, not the postman, not the baker, and certainly not any of my acquaintances, friends or even best friends. They mean well, but you can still die from people meaning well.
Nope, I take my own chances with my own choices and follow the road that I was meant to take. How do I know this? By listening to what is being said inside of me. My little voice sometimes howls so that I can hear it better.
You, too, have an inner voice. It’s called your Spiritual Side.
Listen to what it tells you. You’ll be amazed.
And remember too that although those phrases are well-meaning, well-meaning can put you in your grave just as easily as someone else.
Until next time… .