The Four-Letter Word You Should Stop Using
We all say these colorful four-letter words from time to time. It is either out of shock, anger, excitement, or just for no reason at all. This doesn’t exclude you because you are a follower of Christ. Even we have not so great “potty mouths” from time to time.
This four-letter word is probably spoken by every single person, at least in the US. I have found that it is used in daily conversation. It is used to express how we’re are feeling, how things are going in our lives, to describe the foods we eat, the experiences we have, and even the state of our relationships with others.
Most people, it seems to me, have been conditioned to use this one word so often that they actually believe it is their go to when they don’t know what to say when asked about their day, their meal, their relationship, and so on.
The four-letter word I’m referring to is FINE.
I’m sure you had already figured that out by now.
I say it is a four-letter word in the sense that we use it for many situations without using it for its intended purpose or with the correct intention behind it.
You are probably asking yourself, “Does this really matter?” I believe it does. If we just go around using any word, we wish for whatever situation without using it as it is intended then do, we not, over time, alter the definition of the word in our minds and beliefs. That is why I say you should stop using this word, in fact, I believe we should all stop using any word that we don’t know the true meaning of.
My reason for sharing this 1 four-letter word with you is to bring some awareness to what you are saying. We should be very intentional with our words. I know many people have a generic vocabulary and throw in some larger words from time to time. When it comes to expressing our feelings/emotions about something, someone, etc. we are extremely disadvantaged in knowing anything beyond what we were taught.
For example when you were growing up and even now there is a set of, what we now call emojis, on the wall in the doctors office and even before we could talk we would be asked to point to the image that expressed how we were feeling or how much pain we were in. In Kindergarten we were asked to express our emotions based on, almost, the same images on the wall as at the doctor’s office.
At what point were we taught how to define and express our actual emotions? Most of us didn’t get to this until we were in therapy. Even then many of us didn’t understand the complexity or actual simplicity of our emotions. Many of us didn’t know how to express ourselves.
Over time we have played around with our words so to speak. We have tried expressing when we are angry without getting angry until people don’t understand and then you have to show them, right!?! We have tried expressing compassion, love, hurt, pain, trauma, sorrow, grief, joy, excitement, yet what we consider negative emotions all come out the same. What we consider positive emotions tend to also all come out the same.
So now we resort to this amazing little word, FINE that is supposed to describe to someone our feeling about someone or something. As amazing as it is to seem to have found an all-encompassing word, what are we really saying to others and what are we really saying to ourselves.
I have found in speaking with many people that when they say “I’m fine”, “The food is fine”, “We’re fine”, etc. they are using it in place of saying it is just ok and it’s not really anything to elaborate on. Typically, when a husband asks his wife if she is upset and she says she is fine, that is typically a cue for him that she is definitely not fine and needs to try to make the situation better.
Why do we say we are fine, or things are fine, or the food is fine is really we mean it is not good, it is awful, I’m not good, etc.? It is because we really don’t know how we feel and if we say the few words, we do know such as good, happy, angry, mad, sad, sometimes we don’t really know which one we are. I mean, do you ever feel like you have too many emotions going on and not sure what you’re feeling? Happens to me all the time.
There are a few definitions to the word fine. The ones I will share are specific to how we use the word to describe if we like something, how we are feeling, etc.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary has quite a few definitions of fine
1a: ALL RIGHTthat’s fine with me
b: well or healthy : not sick or injuredfeel fine
2: superior in kind, quality, or appearance : EXCELLENTa fine joba fine dayfine wines
What I find interesting about this word is that depending on the context depends on the meaning. Why is that important? “Death and life are in the power in the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21
Did you know that our subconscious takes in all it hears as truth no matter the context?
Our minds don’t hear filler words to help distinguish the words we hear. There is a reason it is so important to know and be intentional about what you are saying. Just because you are saying you are fine to someone else you have an emotion and intention behind it.
You continue to tell others you’re fine when you’re suffering and your mind will start to believe that you are find when you are struggling and you find yourself battling within yourself to justify how you are really feeling.
Just because you tell someone you are fine, or everything is fine doesn’t mean you have to believe it. When you tell someone that make sure that you are telling yourself what that really means to you. It means this person doesn’t need to know what is really going on and I know I’m, then fill in the blank.
This is a quick fix for now. I would encourage you to check out a feelings wheel and how to use it at https://blog.calm.com/blog/the-feelings-wheel You can download your own feelings wheel. Depending on who you find sharing this online there can be up to 34,000 emotions. I don’t know if I believe it’s 34,000, who am I to argue with a psychologist. So here is another link to get a different perspective as well https://positivepsychology.com/emotion-wheel/
I hope this encourages you to dive deeper into your emotions, your feelings, your vocabulary and take inventory. Where are you now, where would you like to be, what do you need to do to get there? Learning our emotions can take time because we don’t always care about how we feel we tend to be focused on getting our point across, getting people to agree with us and not listening to others completely or paying attention to how we are feeling and even if we should be feeling that way.
Declare Your Truth ~ Live with Confidence ~ Dena Adams