Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Words and Birds

My neighbors in the apartment next to me have this big beautiful parrot. I usually don't hear it very often but today the bird is out of the balcony while they are doing some cleaning inside.

I've always enjoyed birds. I've had love birds, cockatiels, and the last bird I had was a nanday conure named Jazz. He looked just like this:

I loved that bird but had to give him away when I went off to college. Jazz used to sing and whistle all the time, but he never talked. My neighbors parrot on the other hand...can't stop talking. It laughs, and says a new phrase every couple of minutes...I actually thought my neighbor was on the porch it imitates so well!

I could hear the bird say "Quit it!" "What is it now?!" "Get to bed!" several times...mostly "quit it" (Which I've heard the mom actually say to her kids quite frequently). It seemed very telling to me. What if you had something repeating the most common, most used phrases in your house? What would they be? What are the words you choose to say?

I'm sure if I had a talking bird in my house it would probably say at least these two common phrases (I'll let you guess which is the one my husband says and which one I say)

"Clean up the house!"
"Could you please get off the xbox?!"

What words are resonating in our home? What is our focus? How do our words reflect us?

I realized last night that my husband and I both have one of the same mechanisms in conflict: we say mean things. We both do it. And we both can say heart breaking things to one another. Not prime "building others up" kind of material here. At the end of a fight we say we don't mean what we said...but that damage has been done.

Last night I felt guilty about those words I had been saying. If you say things long enough, people believe they are true about themselves. I went up to my husband and grabbed his face (btw I have no concept of personal space so this happens a lot haha!) and said "I know I've said some hurtful things to you. I want you to know that I'm moving forward and I don't want to say those things to you anymore."I can't guarantee that I will suddenly stop this pattern we've gotten ourselves into, but at least I can try. And at least we can focus on other words.

I'd hope that if I had a bird in my home, it's most common phrase would be "I love you."


WES ELLIS said...

Good thoughts Amanda. A lot can be know about us from the words we choose most frequently. A lot can be known about a culture, a society, or any social body from the words we recognize most naturally. Our words are not just words. They are the motor that drives us into the patterns of our lives.


This is a great post, Amanda, as words matter. It is sweet and good that you want to learn to fight with healthier words. Go for it.

Thanks for your recent visit to my blog post on wonder and for leaving your sweet comment.