Author Archives: Marian

About Marian

When I was barely three years old I was given to a step-mother by my father along with my five brothers and sisters. She brought into this new family her own two small children; the eight of us were all very young. My new mother along with my father decided how best to raise all of us; this included violent and abusive punishments and inappropriate ideas of right and wrong, including alcoholism and infidelity on my father’s part. My mother was particularly angry with me, I have no idea why but I made up that it’s because my father favored me over all the others, most importantly her own children. Whether this is the truth doesn’t really matter anymore as it was a long time ago. I left home the day after my eighteenth birthday which coincides with the last time she laid an abusive hand on me. Unfortunately, I took all the negative feelings I’d developed about myself based on my upbringing with me and proceeded to find and cultivate one bad and abusive relationship after another until, and without a another thought about it, I stopped the madness when I was about 35 years old. I’m now in my late 50’s with two grown daughters and four grandchildren. I have a degree in Social Work, I’m a certified teacher of The Three Principals, a counselor for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and I worked more than seven years with homeless men and women diagnosed as severely mentally ill, addicts, and victims of every type of heinous crime against human beings. I’m married just over 21 years to a loving man who supports me emotionally and, now, financially. He believes I have a wonderful calming insight to share with others who are survivors of their lives just like me. That’s how I see myself now, a survivor of my own life. I will discuss empowering insights that were shared with me regarding how we innocently see the world and how we can easily choose to see and feel differently about everything. Not just everything around us but more importantly about who we are. We are all unknowingly living our lives as if there are no other choices. Yet daily deep within each of us we hope there’s something better and we spend countless hours looking for just that. I have a few ideas as to how you can let all the sadness, frustration and anger go allowing the essence of who you are take hold. My perspective is positive, my hope is boundless and my belief is secure. I listen without condemnation. I will always direct you back to where all emotional issues rest in a positive and compassionate way. There is no anger in me, I do not seek to avenge the past and I live now in this moment rejoicing that I exist today to enjoy the gifts I’ve been given. We are all powerful, unlimited and are creations of pure Love! Thank you for visiting with me, I truly hope you will find what you’re looking for and if not, let’s talk! Marian

If we’re focused on what we’re not doing we can miss what we could be doing

I haven’t written for a while.  I felt like I had nothing to share, nothing to contribute to all the amazing stuff that’s out here.  I’d never before had my stuff so out there in the Social Media for all to see and read or not to read which felt horrible, like a rejection.  So I didn’t write.  I reposted other’s writings.  I innocently thought that all those wonderfully talented “invisible” people have so much more insightful, profoundly deep stuff to say.   So I stopped writing.

I just realized all of this and then, almost just as quickly, I realized that I’ve been stopping myself from doing something that I enjoy based on a false impression of me that I made up!  Seems that I had convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough and that thought just as quickly set up a wall of self-doubt about what I was good at.  My mood took a dive and I spent a great deal of time acting as if I was fine. Continue reading

About LIfe, Crazy Thoughts and “Evil” Forces by Elese Coit

I’m sharing this as I found that this read like a really simple way to explain something that we all encounter, our own “crazy” thoughts.  Most often we feel as if we need to do something about these thoughts and begin a cycle of what seems like paths that run endlessly to no where.  I hope you enjoy.  If there are any questions, please ask. 
Marian
About Life, Crazy Thoughts and “Evil” Forces
by Elese Coit (Notes) on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6:16pm

I recently made a new Facebook friend named Kristian –who you are about to meet. Kristian friended me, I asked him why and we began talking about The Three Principles. Messaging back and forth.

Lead by his thoughtful questions,  Kristian and I reflected together about “the voices in our heads,” obsessive thoughts, why we all get scared and how we stay safe.
I asked him if I could share our chat here on the blog. He said yes.  At first I thought I would edit this to be shorter, but I’ve decided not to.  So…
Here is the unedited dialogue between this wise fellow and myself exploring the nature of thought in the context of The Three Principles.

Kristian Thalin A question, do you think there are “evil” forces that can control peoples action or is all that just thought? 
For example, sometimes people do these really bad things and say stuff like “that was a voice in my head that told me to do it” … Therefore I thought that is very scary for me at times. “What if I suddenly …” and then the worst possible thing that I can come up with like kill someone etc..
Have you ever met one with these kind of unwanted almost obsessive thoughts? If so, what makes you think they become obsessive when you don’t even want them in the first place… This is where I get confused with our “free” will.  Thank you Elese, All my love, Kristian

Elese Coit Hi Kristian, How wonderful to meet you. What a thoughtful place to reflect. Here is what I have found most helpful to know about thought. See how this lands for you and let me know.
1. Everyone has every kind of thought.  The most beautiful to the most terrible. The Principles do not say you will not have “evil” or “obsessive” types of thoughts. They say: you will feel the content of your thinking, whatever it is.  Notice in your own life and see if this is true.
2. Everyone has had and continues to have (daily!!) thoughts that they ignore.  We ignore “I could eat that whole cake!” even though we have the thought. So, we do know how to let thoughts come without making them a big deal (even awful ones) and simply allow them to pass. I find that is nice to remember about ourselves. If you can find one example in your experience, you have established that thought cannot take you over. That is what I call free will.
3. When thoughts come alive in our 5-senses, we feel them very intensely and in full 3-D.  This feels compelling, true and real. And it is. However, most people feel compelled to do something about them to stop the feeling. That means they will act on the outside of themselves in order to get rid of a feeling they don’t like: strike out, get revenge, eat the cake… etc. Most people will do this and will truly feel they had no choice to do anything else. Now this is going to sound a bit tricky, but see if you can see that makes sense to people — but only if feelings are coming from outside of us! (Which they are not).
So here is the REAL KEY: Once you know that your feelings are coming from thinking, and reflect the content of thinking alone, you do not need to act on the outside world in an attempt to rid yourself of a feeling. The more you understand where the feeling is coming from, the less you need to do “out there” to resolve it. (In fact, the less you need to do to resolve it at all. That includes improving on yourself.)
4. Remember, all feelings WILL and in fact MUST change. It is the nature of feelings. There is nothing you can do to stop yourself getting a new idea (and the feeling that will go with it) at any point.
If you want to test out number 4 for yourself, try to take one feeling, any feeling maybe anger or rage and see what you would have to do to keep that feeling going -without a break in the feeling at all.
Most people cannot last one minute with a single feeling. Within seconds they are thinking “I’m hungry” or “how long have I been doing this?” and the feeling they are trying to sustain will simply subside.
This shows you just how much natural feelings are moving along with the thoughts behind them.
So how does this help you to trust that is what is happening and know that it is the Principles that keep you safe, not the content of your thinking? Love, Elese
Elese Coit P.S. and YES, just last week I was totally enraged and wanted to hit someone. I told a friend of mine in the Domestic Violence prevention unit, I could totally see how wives beat husbands and husbands beat wives. I could easily have been one in that red hot moment.
Luckily, I told her, “The Principles kept ME safe because I know what is happening to me — what they did not do was keep me “safe” from having the thought in the first place!” Does that make sense?

Kristian Thalin
Elese, all I can say right now is WOW! I acually found myself smiling with a deep sense of relief as I was reading your answer – thank you so much!
What you say just make perfect sense Elese, becouse if we think that our emotions really comes from something or someone then there is no wounder that one might think that we are controlled by something, when we in fact are feeling our own thinking! Thank you for helping me see that  Im starting to realize more and more that there can’t simply be any “evil”, it’s rather a absense of god! In the same way that cold is the absense of heat and darkness is the absense of lightness like Einstein was on about. The way you came across with it made it very clear to me!
For me it feels like that the more we start see our true identity, the less scary our thinking gets simply becouse we just think we need to feel fearfull of it. I mean just look at a little baby, it does not get scared of spiders or snakes or even the most brutal horror movie becouse they don’t even know what it is! It’s all conditioning!
Or am I all lost when I say that we are learned to fear most things that we are scared of Elese?

Elese Coit Kristian, Glad to be in this reflection with you
As to your last question, here is what I think we learned: we all learned to “attribute.” We had a feeling, looked for the reason for it, and then just pointed to something outside ourselves and said, “this made me feel …”
We learned to attribute this way because no one knew any different. I certainly didn’t before I came across the Principles and began to reflect on what they mean in practice…
So what we attribute to is random. Which makes sense because no one is afraid of the same things right? It’s kind of amazing if you think about it, that we have never noticed this is the reason!!
Anyway, my favorite way of talking about this is “No one can make you feel …X”* Nothing can make you feel it, but you can attribute feeling to something and believe yourself. That’s not something wrong with us, it’s just a misunderstanding…
does that help as you reflect on your question? Love, Elese *(With thanks to Mara Gleason who put that on the white board when teaching atSupercoach)

Kristian Thalin
Elese,  First of all I want you to know that your amazing kindness and wisdom means so much to me
The way you explained how we “attribute” makes perfect sense to me! I can really see how this missunderstanding makes one think that there is something wrong with us, when in fact there is nothing wrong at all!
Elese, what do you do when you get caught up with negative feelings from your thoughts?
Sometime I find myself feeling sad but I could not identify what kind of thought that caused it and I tend to get into this strange gap between stress and wellbeing.
Once again thank you Elese! Love, Kristian

Elese Coit
Hi Kristian, Hm, a question on this one … tell me, why would you want to “identify” the thought that caused the feeling?  Love, Elese

Kristian Thalin
Hi Elese, It’s funny how we give meaning to meaningless things. The moment I read your response a statement made by Einstein came up in my head:  “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
Identifying the thought that caused the feeling would be like identifying the tiny object on the road that caused a flat tire on a bike. Focusing on that object will not do me much good…
I guess we’re so used to focus on our mistakes so our habitual thinking kicks in.
Anyway, thank you Elese for questioning my thought and helping me look at it from a new angle! Love, Kristian

Elese Coit Wonderful. No one could say it better. Even Einstein.

Ask the Deeper Question, by Judy Sedgeman

New post on Peace of Mind Matters

Ask the deeper questions

by Judy Sedgeman

A flood of questions follows horrifying actions like the Boston Marathon bombing. Who is to blame? How did it happen? Why? Could we have stopped it? Can we keep it from happening again? We analyze each incident with an excruciatingly complex compilation of details. We hope for answers from the accumulation of minutiae.

Shouldn’t we also ask the deeper questions, the questions that would generalize speexploding mindcific events to insights about the universal nature of fury, hatred, alienation, dissociation in human beings? Have we taken seriously the critical need to truly understand and address mental health, not only here, but across the globe? What erupts within the human heart and mind to inflame the rage to kill?  Could anything inhibit the rabidity that fuels terror? Could people ever see how to create and sustain peace and stability?

In order to fully prevent — to eradicate — anything, the source must be clearly identified. Until the root cause is certain, prevention is randomly effective and situational. For example, even though it had been known since the Roman Empire that sewage must be diverted to avoid widespread sickness in concentrated populations, no one knew what was intrinsic to sewage that was the actual cause of illness until the germ theory of disease was proven in the mid-1800′s. Then we knew how the primary source of illness could contaminate and disseminate in many ways. Solving the spread of the one true source was the answer that allowed us to begin to control diseases.

As we think about cruelty, violence, evil now, we are like the ancient Romans. We want to keep them away from populations, so we look after the fact to figure out how to do that better. We take it for granted that dealing with those dark aspects of human behavior is inevitable, so we keep looking for more ways to wall them off and push them farther from us — more security, more barricades, more restrictions, more suspicion, more weapons. We are especially dismayed in the face of obvious ambiguity, of situations like the Boston bombers and other youthful terrorists around the world.  Those who grew up around the perpetrators often tell us that they were good kids, good friends, happy guys. How could that be?  Does the potential for terror lurk even in the apparently nice people we generally like? Why would seemingly intelligent, athletic, friendly young men turn into ruthless, remorseless, mass killers? What is the contaminant? How do we keep it away?

In the more than 30 years I have been working to extend the reach of the Principles of an inside-out logic that explains the whole range of human experience, I have wondered  why some central questions have not generally registered with people. For example:

  1. If  the causes of human behavior are external, why wouldn’t the same external forces create the same reactions in everyone exposed to them?
  2. Since common sense shows us that people respond differently to the same external circumstances, why aren’t we looking for the mediator that explains that?

Questions that reach below the surface of our prevailing assumptions easily get lost. It is the history of humanity to live within the boundaries of the theories about life that are most widely accepted in our eras. So, before the discovery of germ theory, people accepted frequent contagion and widespread outbreaks of disease as normal “acts of nature”. Now, we see them as abnormal and we know what to look for to bring them under control.

At this point in our general understanding of human psychology, the prevailing theories all suggest that life happens to us, and everything we think and feel and do is generated by things outside ourselves. Without realizing it, we see ourselves as perpetual victims of circumstances, both good and bad. We consistently look for causes outside ourselves to explain effects within ourselves. Who or what should we blame or thank for our experience of life? He made me mad. You make me cheerful. I’ll be happy if … Of course, he or she is this or that — look at his or her family/schooling/background/environment/friends/religion… Because we empower all the stuff in our life, we are always struggling with things outside of our control.

What if we are missing a crucial link in our understanding of ourselves? What if we generate our experience from within, by the thoughts that flow through us, mediated by the level of awareness we have that we are the thinkers of our own thoughts and thus the creators of our own experience of reality? What if the power is within each person on earth to recognize how thinking works and see how to discriminate wise thinking from destructive thinking? What if this knowledge is intrinsic, but not always understood, and therefore easily awakened? What if the universal source of all of our responses to the external world is the way we hold and use our own thinking about it?

Reflect for a moment. A mind at peace does not, could not, conceive violence as a viable action. A mind at peace creates ease, connection to other people, compassion and engagement in life. A mind in turmoil will conceive and act on whatever thoughts seem to offer relief from inner torment. A mind in turmoil creates insecurity, righteous self-absorption, alienation, hatred and disregard for life.

If part of early education, just as ordinary as math and reading, were a true understanding of how our own minds, how all human minds, work to create our experience, young people would know early on how to use their feeling state to navigate their own thinking. They would recognize which thoughts make sense to guide them into action, and which thoughts to leave alone. They would not be frightened by any of their thinking, regardless of how bizarre or destructive, because they would understand that all thoughts are fleeting images created within our own minds that have no meaning beyond our level of commitment to them. They would live at peace within themselves. When we are at peace inside, there will be peace in the world.

Cut off from innate wisdom, a lost thinker experiences isolation, fear and confusion. This is why there are so many atrocities throughout the world.  Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p 83.       

Hugging is Good Medicine!

Hugs pic

I spent a good part of my life afraid of hugs.

I would freeze up, keep my arms straight down, hands out and hold my breath.  Many, many times I would suffer a small panic attack while held by someone else.  My mind would scream, “RUN!”  It took great effort to force myself to be, I guess at the time what felt like, vulnerable.  I always got through it with a quiet determination that everything was going to be fine; those seconds felt like an eternity.

I never really understood why I suffered from being hugged; I imagine reasons and everything I think up inevitably feels sad.  I guess that was a time when I didn’t trust that those hugs were meant as a good thing.  That was then.

Now my life is filled with hugs that keep me connected to an array of beautiful spiritual beings.

I love hugs.  I’m now the hugger.  I reach out and hug people and I do so energetically.  I’ve had experiences where someone looks at me with “want and sadness” in their eyes asking if it’s okay to hug me.  I open up my arms and take them in.  What I receive in return is better than mere words can explain.  Those few seconds make my entire day!   Sometimes I feel the stiffening, the hesitation.  I smile to myself; I know it feels uncomfortable but I also know that the human experience of a compassionate touch is a good thing and one that is sorely lacking in many lives.

Hugs feel like an instantaneous little gift of love passing from spirit to spirit.  That feeling is a small reminder that we are all connected at a profoundly deep place so far removed from the struggles we put ourselves through.

Hugs are our way of showing there is someone out there that wants you to be well.  Truly an important reminder as we traipse along caught up in our day to day thoughts about life.

Come by sometime and I’ll give you the best hug!  I’ll even throw you a smile to let you know that I get it and it’s going to be okay.

Life is after all a series of unfortunate thoughts about stuff that never really mattered mixed in with moments of miraculous connections helping us to stay grounded and to feel loved!

1973 by Marian Brown

1973

 They stand next to each other barely talking.  Neither of them really have much to say; it’s all been said, over and over.  She’s moving away; he will stay with his wife.  She never for a second thought differently, he never for a second felt differently.  Their affair had been brief and the affair had done what it was supposed to do.  She was made to face the fact that the man she lived with was not right for her; he was able to live outside of his world for a brief time, to put a little distance between himself and his past.

They’ve only known each other seven weeks, not such a very long time for two people who already have a lifetime of living between them.  Her story began when she was very young; his began in a country far away.  They felt for a time, a small moment in time that all that mattered was now, but now was up.

The affair began in the same spot it would end, the city’s park by the water’s edge.  That first day was not unlike this day, a few more clouds, a little colder.  The ducks were still there, possibly the very ducks that had brought them together.  She hadn’t even noticed him at first; he had been crouched down looking out over the lake tossing out pieces of bread.  A cigarette dangled from his lips, his hair looking as if it was just starting to grow out.  Dark hair, slicked back.  She had wandered up next to him, drawn to the birds gathered along the shore.  The day promised nothing but gray and cold for her, she couldn’t help but shiver despite her heavy coat.  She lit a cigarette and tossed the match into the water, it floated for a moment, and then was lost, taken out by the ripples created by the birds.  He looked up at her and smiled.  His eyes squinted fighting the glare off the dark water; his smile was expansive and immediately genuine.  He stood and taking his cigarette from his mouth said, “Howdy.”  That was all, howdy.  She couldn’t help but smile, nobody said howdy anymore.

He was tall, over six feet, and lean.  Lean like the cowboys you’ve seen on television; old black and white movies.  His boots looked worn, the straight-legged jeans, snug, but comfortable.  When he extended his hand to her she noticed his eyes.  They were nearly as dark as the water.  Too dark, she couldn’t help but notice, against a too pale face.  His features looked as if they had been carved from porcelain and she would find out, although he was only twenty-two, the creases around his eyes told another story.  She stood tall next to him, all of her five feet seven inches.  She always stood tall; it hid so much about her, a mysterious girl of eighteen.  Her long, light auburn hair fell crazy around her shoulders, wisps catching a breeze and flying across her face.  Her own pale, green eyes looked straight back at him as his approving smile took all of her in.  Too quickly he seemed to come to a conclusion about her and extended the bag of bread.  “Want to help me feed the ducks?”  His voice, smooth as warm butter, spread across her face.  Blushing, she smiled and took the bag.  That’s how it was in the beginning, two lonely people sharing a dreary, winter afternoon.  Neither one of them it seemed had anywhere to go.

After that first meeting they would steal as much time together as they could.  He needed to work; she needed to do something with her life.  His commitment to his spouse was not his main concern; her long time boyfriend did not seem to matter.  It was never physical between the two, it never really is.  He felt disconnected when he was with her; she had lost all feeling of being connected.  Often they would meet in a small Mexican bar on the north side of town.  It was far enough away from wherever and they liked the dark, cool interior.  It felt like something close to meeting in a cave, gloomy and forbidding.  She asked him about his other life; he hesitated to tell her at first.  But as a floodgate will open with very little prompting, his mind gave way and the stories flowed, not unlike the wine.

His time spent in Vietnam began in the summer of ‘69.  He had volunteered along with a high school chum; she had never known a soldier.  She had known battle though; she told him of her own personal scars.  She would never feel his equal in sorrow, she never felt anyone’s equal.  He spoke soft and slowly like his first words to her.   She would try and imagine a place she could not comprehend; he still could not grasp it.  His four years there were spent on watch, watching out for your buddies, watching out for yourself.  He had walked away from a watch one night; his friend was blown away right before his eyes, those dark eyes.  She thought maybe he had seen too much.  He drank as much as he spoke and for a while he spoke a lot.

She spoke often too, with him, to him.  She told him of her parents, the father who loved her too much, the mother who would hate her for it.  She explained how often and hard she had tried to please them and how often she failed.  Matching drink for drink with him, she complained about parents who were alcoholics.  She never saw the irony; he didn’t seem to care.

Sometimes when the day promised warmth they would walk through a wooded park, pick wildflowers just beginning to bloom. Speaking to each other in hushed voices, telling each other secrets.  She helped him heal the scars left over from the war; she hid her scars, newly carved into her skin.  She would carry his name on her arm etched forever with a razor blade, he would never know, she didn’t care.  He reshaped her and gave her a new name, a foreign name.  She would become forever someone remembered from another country.

He would wonder, will she remember me; she would know him forever.  She thought he will forget me; he would remember her always as something from his past.

So things end as things do and love ends, as love will.  He sends her off to find a new future; she took with her his pain.

They promise to write and they do for a time, a short time and it was a short time.  A very long time ago.

It’s Not Your Personality We Love by Elese Coit

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We are all wearing masks. I’m not talking about the professional mask you put on to go to work, I’m talking about the mask you call YOU.
It’s the shell you’ve wrapped round your authentic, natural self.  Let’s call it your “personality.” I’ve had one for years and I don’t know how I couldn’t have one.  What gets tricky is when I think that me and my personality are the same thing.
It is a bit like putting on a mask and then forgetting about it.  There’s this weird uncomfortable feeling, but you can’t put your finger on why…
If you have an uber-competent personality it may look like that serves you well. I thought mine did. And yet I had to face some inevitable facts:

  1. The personality is not you.
  2. The personality is actually the biggest barrier to knowing you.
  3. The personality is not what people really appreciate about you.

All the time spent evaluating ourselves, measuring and comparing, has never been put on pause long enough to consider the deeper question that lies behind it.  Unless we do, we may look in the mirror many times a day and the greatest mystery on the planet remains the face staring back.
I rarely reflected on the question, “Who am I underneath who I think I am?”  I could tell you who I thought I should be. I could tell you who I was trying to become or how I was doing in relation to so-and-so. But me? On a deeper level?  Very blurry.
I just assumed that I was my personality. I tried to make this personality of mine better and “special.” I tried to make “me” into someone I would like. ( Remember “love yourself”? … I did not succeed).  We construct a version of a person that our own constricted minds are thinking of and within those parameters, of course it’s going to be an imitation version. Roll on the self-improvement …


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“Mi, a name I call myself…
As I began to ponder “what is me?” I began to notice that the personality I had became used to referring to as “me” was entirely composed of — just things I think about myself. There was a the tableau of traits and characteristics that I called myself, but these were no more than a bunch of thoughts I’d had. They just happened to be about something I call me.
I had made myself up out of nothing. Out of thought.
Other people did not necessarily share the view of who I thought I was and so I also incorporated their opinions into my own thinking about me.
I remember first getting a glimpse of the depth of this as I came to know Robert Holden (listen to my radio show with him) who called the ego “the sum total of all the smallest ideas you’ve ever had about yourself.”
It hit me that I really had constructed me. And I was terribly small.  It began to dawn that, since the personality was a construct in itself, it could never find the answer to Me. The answer was beyond the content of my own thinking.
I look out through two eyes from something I call my body.  I think the limits of my body are “me.” I pass or fail a test, I think the results tell “me” something “I” am suited for or not suited for.  I get divorced and I think this means something about “me.”   Thoughts. All just thoughts.
We minimize our capacities — based on opinions that just float past — and yet talk about them as facts and live the limitations as truth.
I was reminded of this recently when I had a client here in San Diego for a 3-day retreat and I related how people walk up to me when I am on my skates and just blurt out, “I could never do that!” The truth is, they can’t possibly know that. They don’t have the slightest idea. But this does not stop people from deciding precisely what they will or will not believe about themselves.
When you realize that what you think you are made of is nothing more than a jumble of ideas, maybe it’s time to start asking “What is beneath what I think I am?”

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“Everyone in this world shares the same innate source of wisdom, but it is hidden by the tangle of our own misguided personal thoughts”
- Sydney Banks The Missing Link

 

WHAT YOU SAID HURT ME!

You suck!  You’re ugly, stupid, an idiot!  I hate you!  You broke my heart!

Words much worse than these are used to communicate how we are feeling about others and ourselves. Language is the most distinctive way to know whether someone is in distress, seems dangerous or is friendly. During our lifetime we use language to convey feelings of happiness and anger, frustration and joy. At times it’s seems as if words are actually weapons that can cause physical harm. The meaning of words are so integrated into our way of life that we’ve come to firmly believe that they have great value and power. When we were younger and just learning to speak, before we developed a strong grasp of language, words meant little to us. We would hear words all around us and were totally oblivious to their value. It wasn’t until we began to create our own understanding of the meaning of words that we began to decide which ones were good and which ones could hurt. And that idea, that feeling which is so very real to us, sticks throughout our lives.

The ironic thing is those words never had to hurt.
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