Recently after our T’ai Chi class, I was reminded of the 3C words that can cause cancer to our soul. When I use these words, or find myself caught up inside them — I feel less than and separate. The obvious question then is, Why would do any of us choose to repeat these words and/or their actions in our daily lives?
The words I am referring to are: complain, criticize and compare.
When I arrived home from class that night, I again thought about these 3C words and came up with replacement words/actions, I can remind myself to use instead. Maybe you will find these helpful to you, when you are in the midst of harming your soul.
Instead of complaining: Choose
This one came easily to me, as Sifu Gardner reminds all of his students often, “Instead of whining about your life, make better choices.” Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Let’s take an example we can all relate to: You’re running late to __________ [fill in the blank]. The night before, you choose to stay up late, you choose to hit the snooze on your alarm in the morning, and now you’re a frantic mess. You get in your car, heading for your destination, and all the drivers seem to be out to get you. You find yourself complaining, cursing every person on the road that they do not know how to drive. Sound familiar? What if you would have chosen to go to bed earlier? Chose not to hit that snooze alarm? Would your perspective of the other drivers be different? And, would you be more at ease with yourself?
Instead of criticizing: Connect
To be clear, I am speaking about the criticizing when begin judging ourselves or others. Not the corrective criticism that we get from someone who truly cares for us and shares insight.
It seems so easy to criticize someone else — especially when we do not have all the facts. [Here’s a silly example] You send your best friend a text, apologizing for not making it to their gathering the night before. You anxiously await their text — nothing comes — now your monkey-mind begins to come up with all kinds of scenarios. She’s just trying to get me back for not coming last night. She thinks she’s teaching me a lesson. Instead, later when your friend actually calls you — you find out her puppy was sick and she took him to the vet.
What if you had changed your own perspective first, and after you had sent that text, you let it go. Went on with your day, and when your friend did call you back, you empathized and connected with her.
Instead of compare: Compliment
Personally, this is one I find rears its ugly head too often. We all know comparing is such a vicious downward cycle. So then why do we do it? I feel we do it because we feel less than and not good enough.
Here’s an example: A friend shares with you how his son received straight A’s this past semester. Maybe your thoughts go toward, of course he’s doing fabulous, he is attending a private school, the teachers are better there, our school is ________ [blah, blah, blah].
What if you simply replied, “that’s fantastic, please tell him congratulations for me!”
I invite you to practice these concepts. Notice your energy shift when you choose, connect and compliment. I continue to work on this everyday, and when I catch myself caught up in the 3Cs, I quickly shift my perspective. […well I do my best]
May we all continue to replace the cancerous 3C words.
Choose wisely. Connect from our hearts. Compliment with sincerity.