From the moment we’re born the world is introduced to us through words. From a midwife exclaiming “Oh look it’s a little hitler!” – purely because the child was born close to the date of hitler’s birthday – to a mother’s first words to her daughter: “you’re just so beautiful,” all these words, have influence over us to varying degrees, for the rest of our lives.
A word spoken can be very different to a word thought. Let’s take the example of the midwife calling a mothers newborn son a ‘little hitler.’ No doubt at the time: 1 am 21st April 1965, with the mother and midwife having lived through world war ll, it was potentially heard as a joke. If it had been left in that moment, then perhaps this would have held true, however, with the child’s mother repeating this ‘joke’ on every birthday over the years, the joke turned into something else. What effect, do you imagine, would there be to the individual described as a ‘little hitler’ on every birthday during his childhood? No effect, some effect or a cataclysmic effect?
You may think I’m being dramatic to describe a supposed joke, repeated every year, for many years, as having a cataclysmic effect, however, this would be to underestimate the power of words and language; one of the few things that attempts to separate us from the barbarism of nature.
“Consider the cumulative effect.”
As our ‘little hitler’ grows, begins to learn about war, and specifically the ideology and beliefs of hitler, understandings, both false and true, begin to formulate in his mind. Now, pause for a moment if you’re assuming I’m going to tell you all about a child who started to turn into a monster. In fact due to some very different words, also heard during his childhood, our ‘little hitler’ pursued a very different path indeed. He was drawn toward the priesthood but never officially became one. Cataclysmic to say the least, as being a priest – outside of any priesthood – is likely to be an indescribable pain to endure. Far better for the newborn boy to have simply been described as beautiful.
Now, you might be thinking: hold on, how does being labelled a little hitler link and connect to being drawn to the priesthood? To answer that question, all we need do, is understand that the part of the mind we’re dealing with, doesn’t communicate through logic. Consider dreams, how often do we wake from a dream thinking: ‘well that made perfect sense?’ And so, when we think of the potential for anger – at being associated with a monster purely through gender and birth date – this anger can have a provocative, reversed effect on the individual. Consider the often spoken about successes of individuals who’ve been told by teachers: “you’ll never amount to anything lad.”
And so, words, spoken out loud and heard in childhood, become our very thoughts and quite obviously continue to influence us in profound ways. Words and the process of our minds are intrinsically linked and connected. Feelings are expressed through words. Intentions are expressed through words. Our lives are expressed through words. Our beliefs and thoughts are expressed through words.
“That final truism is the domain of the GOLD Counsellor. When we take a thought or feeling, expressed in a word, and write it down, we then have a snapshot of that thought or feeling.”
Changing tack slightly for a moment, our use of language may grow as we get older, however, the feelings we’re describing, remain the same as the feelings first felt as a child. For example, we may write down the word: exuberant – to describe how we currently feel – and yet we may have described this feeling as ‘smiley’ when we were small. So even though we’ve used a ‘grown-up’ word in the present, the feeling associated was one we first felt many years ago.
Back on point. Pinpoint Analysis, takes these written words and identifies the very moment we first associated them with the feelings. In other words if we described ourself as a ‘happy person’ on paper, it’s possible – through the GOLD Counselling Methodology – for us to pinpoint the very moment we first learned this belief (thought).
More importantly, if there are times when we’d label ourselves in a negative light, let’s say ‘unkind’ and we were also encouraged to write this down, we could explore the very moment that feeling was linked in the mind to the word. We may well find that the feeling was driven by a childlike mentality, and this new understanding, would empower us to step away from such a limiting belief. Is it not the case that to be unkind is to be emotionally stunted? Are terrorists emotionally and mentally stunted?
So there we are: feelings become words become beliefs. We are bound to our thoughts and feelings linguistically; we are the words we use, as we are the beliefs we use language to describe – they are are one and the same. Understand where we first felt the feelings and we understand where we first learned the words that described them. The words we use describe both feelings and beliefs.
When raising children we must be very cautious in our use of language. The child who doesn’t wish to share his toys, or punches his classmates for that matter, is not unkind, he is simply emotionally immature.
“Without intervention the neglected, love starved child, remains emotionally stunted and immature all his life.”
We emotionally stunt the child when we fail to explain the value in behaving in a different way. When we encourage children (through love) to share, and see the value in being gentle with each other – and then perpetually describe them as ‘kind’ – we have a better chance of raising children to become humankind, rather than what we’re currently seeing within the terrorist mind.
“Be assured: a terrorist’s hatred will have been seeded at a very early age and didn’t necessarily have anything to do with his current cause. Now they’re older they have simply found an outlet. That, is all there is to it, nothing more.”
There are those who would prefer we didn’t recognise this, as it once again – and rightfully so – increases and places the burden of responsibility, fairly and squarely on parenting. It emphasises the importance of love and emotional maturity within the worlds parents.