Language of Love

Have you ever thought about the emotions associated with the words that you use? Do your word choices make you a happier or angrier person? I’m trying to learn Spanish and so I’m translating a book of Pablo Neruda’s poetry. It is a collection of love poems. As I was translating I was struck by this idea: what if the only words that you knew had to do with love? So, you could use neutral words like articles and pronouns, but the tone of the majority of the words that you knew would be joyous, loving, happy.

I realize that this idea sounds kind of dreamy or impossible, but it fuels my idealism and so I’m going to roll with it. Did you know that in Sanskrit there are 96 words for love?!? In English there is one. But, I can think of some words that are close that I’d like to see used more: enamored, grateful, smitten, content, comfortable, appreciated, exciting, pleased, thankful, blessed.

There is a saying that I’ve heard a few times that goes:

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny. — Chinese proverb, author unknown

This really resonates with me because I think it holds a lot of truth. For me, I’d like to become more careful of which words I let into my life. It may seem silly, but I want to read stories and articles that are uplifting. I want to talk with people who are careful with their words and kind. I want the words in the books that I read to inspire me and cultivate responsible and caring actions. Truly, everything that you let into your life has an effect, so why shouldn’t the language we choose to absorb and express be any different?

Here’s an idea, pick a word that is expressive of love or joy and try to use it once a day in your conversations. My word is: glowing. What’s yours?

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