We’ve all seen the photos … dogs with signs around their necks, confessing the terrible things they have done while home alone. Yes, they’re cute and funny. And as long as the signs are just talking about what the dogs have done, I’m happy to click through and move on. But one I’ve seen recently took a slightly different approach. Instead of describing the dog’s actions, it actually labeled the dog itself with the message, “I am a bad boy.” Seems simple enough. Until you evaluate the energetics of that sign.
You see, there is a difference when disciplining a dog (or a child, or another adult) between “You are a bad dog” and “You did a bad thing.” It may seem like a subtle nuance, but goes to the difference between labeling the isolated behavior, while the other labels the entire being/person. When we speak or write words, especially ones spoken or written with a lot of emotion, those words carry extra energetic impact. They tend to embed deeper in our energy fields and have a greater tendency to materialize. Which is one reason why it is important to be careful what we say when we are angry, particularly to children.
Now, fortunately, we don’t post pictures of our children on the internet with signs around their necks itemizing all the terrible things they have done. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t doing the same exact thing energetically, they are just using verbal language instead of written language.
I’ve worked with many clients who tell me about memories they have of things their parents said to them when they were young. Most of them describe statements like, “You’ll never amount to anything …” or something of that nature. They struggle with these memories, which surface at crucial times in their careers, sometimes derailing important business decisions. Don’t be surprised to find out many of these clients were in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Can you believe the power of these statements to remain with people for so long? If only their parents knew the power of these words, maybe they would have chosen different ones to shape their children for a lifetime.
So when we repeatedly make statements about a state of being (You are bad), it has a tendency to start to shape energetically the quality of that energy field. As opposed to identifying the behavior in a way that separates that action from the quality of the actor (You are a good dog who had done a bad thing) in the sense that rather than being a bad person, that (good) person just made a bad choice.
And better choices are easier to make when one comes at it from the perspective of being a good person.