The following are indispensable phrases that keep us civilized and guarantee a more comfortable life. These phrases are meant to mollify, comfort, simplify and gratify as one remembers the importance of harmonious relationships with others.
1. Thank you.
How many times do we remember to say thank you when someone does something for us. Or if we are married, how important is it that we remember to not take anything for granted in our relationship. My girlfriend’s husband does the food shopping for her and he has done it for many years. She never forgets to thank him.
One of the things that I notice about a relationship that is on its way out is that people stop having appreciation for what the other person does, or they think the spouse’s love should be expressed in the way more to their wishes rather than the individual expression that it is. A nice gesture in this instance might be the “I Love You Not Only For What You Are” Card.
2. You’re welcome.
A lot of people think they must adopt a stance of modesty when someone thanks them for something, not realizing that it is a ‘return’ gift they can give to the other person for saying thank you to them. It also brings back a feeling of power to you, especially if you feel shy about hearing thank you.
3. I like you.
This is even better than I love you. When expressed sincerely and with heart, this is one of the nicest compliments to give to someone. My teacher Ma Jaya (always said that you don’t have to like everybody, (and God knows none of us do,) but you have to try to love everybody. What does that mean? Loving someone is actually attempting to see their essence or where they are coming from. Not liking someone usually means they are engaging in a conduct that does not meet with your approval and which you have judged. Letting yourself stop at not liking someone because of disapproval in one instance is truly not fair to you or them.
Attempting to love someone means that you attempt to open your heart so that you may see “the whole picture” of a person. This helps you to develop compassion for both that person and yourself. If it is a projection of yourself pasted onto somebody else, then it helps you to spiritually grow to acknowledge this.
The important thing is to remember that we cannot change anyone except ourselves. And we know how hard that is.
4. What can I do to help?
This translates to “I care.” This is a compassionate phrase that is so useful on so many occasions, especially when traumatic events occur to someone. I can remember when I was diagnosed with a serious illness; the phrase that most comforted me and opened a space into my heart was someone saying, “What can I do to help?” If I was carrying around some angst about my illness, in a moment that phrase could help me disperse my fear for a time.
5. I’m sorry.
I like the French words, Je sues desolee even better because translated as “I am desolate,” sounds even more heartfelt and sincere. To be able to say I’m sorry, (caveat: especially if you mean it) is a guarantee of an easier life. Opting for arrogance is a difficult path to travel. There are many grudges that are extremely hard to carry in this life when a simple two words might grease our wheels.
One thing to remember about saying that you are sorry; it does not necessarily admit that you are in the wrong. You are simply saying that you are sorry that such an incident has occurred between you and someone else. It also stands sometimes as a stopgap between you and the other person before either of you takes refuge into sadness or anger. It also offers some time to take a moment and consider how or why the dispute has occurred.
We all know that similar phrases expressed with anger or despair can cause a ripple of sadness, terror or anxiety. Similarly, these kind phrases can also pack a wallop when delivered, similar to a stone throw into a lake that creates a swirl of water around it.
So we might ask ourselves: Do we want to create a firestorm of harsh feelings or feelings of openness and kindness? And that is the question we always must ask ourselves as we pause before responding to a hurt we feel we have suffered. Taking that moment to respond is often the difference between a great deal of pain and a feeling of empowerment. It is good to remember how good it feels to “let go” in an instant. And letting go is sometimes the most powerful thing we can do.
If you have a question about “phrases we can’t live without,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.