Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Power of Can't


Have you ever considered how much power we give that word?  It is only 4 letters long yet it can paralyze people and brainwash people with nary an effort.


I started considering that word and its power over the holidays.  I realized that I had been using that word a lot lately and I began studying its power over my mind set.

Can't.  Can't.  Can't. 

The word suggests an inability to do something...a final, ultimate ending to the possibility of something.  There is such a finality to the a period at the end of the sentence.  The word won't doesn't have the same conclusiveness to it as can'tWon't suggests there is will involved...I am choosing that I won't do that but the possibility that I can do it has not been removed.   Not so with the word can't.  It removes the element of choice.

With that in mind, I started to analyze my use of this very powerful word and how it affected my mindset.

I discovered that I was using the word constantly in relation to Lyme.  For example...

Have some wine...sorry, I can't have alcohol.
Did you taste that delicious crab dip?...No, I can't have dairy.
How about eating at ______ restaurant?  I can't...they don't have a gluten free menu.
Mom, have hot chocolate with us...No, I can't have caffeine.  
Go dancing with us...No, I can't.

I'll be honest.  I started to feel very powerless about my situation with chronic illness.  And if you know me, you know my biggest issue is feeling powerless.  I can spiral into deep sadness very quickly and easily when I feel out of control of my world.  Once that sadness begins I can throw quite the pity party for myself and get lost in wallowing in fear, resentment, and self-pity.  That is not where I want to go.  That is not a good place to be for anyone! 

So, I made a very simple change:

I started substituting, where I could, the word don't with can't. 

One four letter contraction for another.  Doesn't seem like it would make that big of an impact, does it?  Oh, but how it does, my friend.  Don't gives the power back to ME...where the word can't takes that choice away.  Read this and feel how it changes...

Have some wine!  No, I can't have it.


Have some wine!  No, thank you, I don't drink wine!

Very, very subtle difference, but a powerful one...the first says I have no choice while the second says I have the power to choose.

I have the power of choosing these things for my is not that I can't eat dairy, it is that I don't eat dairy...I choose not to because I know it is better for my health and my recovery from Lyme.  I still could eat it if I wanted to, but I don't.  How good it feels to take that power back.

While there are truly things I can't do right run a marathon...there are so many things I can do.  One of those things is make choices about my health and that puts the power back in my hands instead of this terrible disease's hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I always try to respond to comments via email, so please be sure you add your email to your profile. Thanks!