Common Phrases in the Field of PsychospiritualityGord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak RSS June 29, 2015
Contemporary Sayings: ‘Used’ and ‘Abused’
There are common phrases in the field of psychospirituality that are often used to benefit and support people, but sometimes they are abused and become nothing more than psycho-babble. Some phrases are used so often that they become hackneyed and annoying. Let’s explore the pros and cons of some of the most popular expressions.
All is Well
This popular phrase is a good antidote to a bad day, or when something goes wrong, or you’re in a minor crisis. A substitute for this expression, “It’s all good,” means that things will turn out alright even if you don’t know how. The adage gives us hope and allows us the space to see that things happen for a reason, but it may not resonate or be helpful for someone going through a major crisis such as divorce, job loss, or betrayal. The person suffering through any of these situations must first transition through the passage and pain before they can resonate with such positive affirmations. Saying “It’s all good” might only make them feel that you cannot relate to their present suffering. When they are ready to hear it, this beautiful quote from Louise Hay may prove helpful: “All is Well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation will only come good. I am safe.”
Speak My Truth
It is indeed important for us to speak our truth, but when we hear someone using this phrase ad nauseam it is often an indication that they’re overusing the expression to their advantage. This type of person often takes issue with many things, and they can become high maintenance, requiring us to constantly listen to all their ‘stuff’. We need to know when to speak our truth and when not to. We have to learn that speaking out all of the time may not serve us, or the other person. It can, in fact, even be hurtful. In other words, we have to learn when to zip it.
It’s All About You
You’ll find that certain people will use this annoying expression repetitively. The truth is that when we feel a need to express our feelings, “It is about us,” and there is nothing wrong with that. The expression, “It’s all about you” tends to be used most times by those who label others as narcissistic or self-centred. For example, when someone is telling their story it is not alright to interrupt them to to tell a similar story about ourselves. Those who like to do this are called ‘conversation stealers,’ an appropriate expression for those who monopolize the conversation, or who make someone else’s crisis all about themselves.
You’re a Narcissist
Many relationship fights escalate through name calling and one of the favourite expressions is, “You’re a narcissist.” This label is abused in that not many people actually fit the psychiatric diagnosis of being a true narcissist.
Dr. Gabor Maté advises that most of us have some narcissism because “many children do not get their parental needs met. The growth of a healthy self depends on emotionally rich, attuned interactions with parents who are emotionally present and available.” Most of us would not fall into this category.
Dr. Maté further states: “A narcissist sees and experiences the world primarily with respect to their own needs. Other people merely supply or frustrate these needs, seeming to lack individuality, dignity, or needs of their own. The people who remain stuck in narcissism, whether everyday narcissism expressed as ordinary self-centredness or the extreme forms we label as pathological, are the ones who never fully developed past early childhood stage.”
Ordinary self-centredness is much different than true narcissism so we want to carefully monitor the use of this word. Some will use this label in order to avoid looking at their own self-centredness. Refrain from using this term as a weapon.
First of all, this is a misogynistic phrase: have we ever heard of a Drama King? The phrase, Drama Queen, tends to be used (inappropriately) to describe someone who feels deeply, and is emotional, or expressive. In fact, a truly ‘dramatic’ person is one who may throw hissy fits or jump on their tiara. Such a person may manipulate through drama to get their own way, or they may cause an argument just to get attention.
By contrast, the stoic person who processes things internally does not like any kind of ‘drama’. Life, however, is sometimes dramatic indeed. The stoic person tends to judge expressiveness or external processing as drama, even perhaps when such judgement is unwarranted.
‘Drama Queen’ is a term that is often used by males when they can’t handle the feelings of their partner. The phrase “stop the drama” can shut down the other’s feelings, disallowing the process to evolve, and thwarting a potential deeper understanding.
Dysfunctional, Toxic, and Dense
John Bradshaw states that “95% of families are dysfunctional” in some way, since no one is perfect. If we continually use this phrase to define our family we may get stuck in the past and in blame, preventing us from healing. This catch-all phrase can enable us to whine and complain, instead of moving forward.
It is true that some relationships, and some people, are toxic; so we do not want to be in their presence because they bring us down. We may indeed find some family members ‘toxic’. We can’t really avoid family so, instead of using this label, we can find ways to limit our time with them. Alternately we can set boundaries. Using either or both of these strategies will allow us to use our energy in more healthy and productive ways.
Many light workers judge others as having energy that is “too dense”, or they “don’t hold enough light.” We are all at different stages of soul development and have varying light quotients. When we go into judgement and non-compassion, our own energy becomes more dense. We need to learn how to balance light and density in order to be part of this world. Doing so objectively helps tremendously.
It is What it Is
There is truth in this saying but it is conveniently (mis)used when one person is talking about a problem and the other person does not want to listen, or couldn’t care less. It can also be construed as a way of saying, “Just shut up and suck it up.”
Don’t Take it Personally
Often the hurtful things that people say to us are simply their own projections and distortions. Regardless, mean or thoughtless phrases can cause us pain. When a person is hurting, the last thing they need to hear is “don’t take it personally.” Rather, they need to be listened to – with compassion.
We need to learn how to use these expressions in an appropriate, healthy, and productive way. Most importantly, their overuse underlines our own judgement rather than our true compassion.
Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak are co-founders of the Transformational Arts College of Spiritual and Holistic Training. The College offers professional training programs in Spiritual Psychotherapy, Spiritual Director, Holistic Health, and Coaching. For more information or for a course calendar, call 416-484-0454 or 1-800-TAC-SELF, or visit www.transformationalarts.com. To receive their monthly e-newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org