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Day 7: What We Say

“So often times it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” ~The Eagles, “Already Gone”

Today I realized that the weakest link in my positivity quest turns out to be in how I talk, which is not a small hurdle, given that I talk a lot. Now that I am on the positivity quest, everyone around me feels free to point out the negativity that flows freely out of my mouth. It’s more than just habit. I realized today that the negative commentary that frames my days is so automatic and comfortable that I don’t even see it coming.

I can trace the roots of this negative speech to my earliest childhood memories. Those memories are steeped in negativity, and even now I can only spend a few days at a time with my parents before I entirely forget myself. I spent decades resenting the past and what it taught me about the world. The resentment didn’t change anything, if anything it just cemented the bad talk deeper in my psyche.

I have been letting go of my past for decades, never realizing that the place I hold onto is in the way I communicate daily. While this is disheartening it is also enlightening. At least I can make a plan of attack in this positivity quest. The transition will have to begin by vigilantly paying attention to what I say and relearning the art of language.

I remember once reading that our bodies are constantly regenerating and in fact we are born again on a cellular level every three weeks. This is how we heal and how life gives us the chance to change. Research suggests that this same three week window is what it takes to form new habits and relinquish the hold of the old.

One technique I discovered to end my negative speech habit is to wear a wristband and each time I say something negative I will switch the band to the other wrist. It is not uncommon for the band to switch hands a dozen times or more in the first hours of practice. With continued practice most people are down to a few times a day within a week. Tomorrow the wrist band goes on and maybe I will talk less.