Monday, April 18, 2016

The limits of our language are the limits of our world

For years I struggled with anxiety, stress and other manifestations of the threat of imminent nonbeing, aka, meaninglessness. 

But I never had any names for those feelings. I didn’t have labels that permitted me to communicate with myself and others about my emotions. I didn’t possess a robust vocabulary to help me make sense of the otherwise ambiguous world of inner turmoil. 

And so, the inner turmoil continued to mount. Because I didn’t have language as the handle with which to grasp my experience of anxiety. 

Slowly, though, I learned how to name things. I started developing the capacity within myself to manufacture the very commodity I was constantly chasing. And I began announcing to myself that I was the sole arbiter of meaning in my life. That way, anytime waves of meaninglessness came crashing in, I knew exactly how to describe them. 

What’s more, I knew exactly how to ride them. Because I had a tool for forming experiences into communicable meaning for myself. And that’s the strange thing about anxiety. Like most things in life, once you name it, you claim it. Names make the invisible visible. When you give language to something, you access a significant source of power previously unavailable to you. 

Because with a name, you can manage it, measure it, conceptualize it, talk to yourself about it, talk to others about it, interact around it, arrive at an understanding about, and if need be, alter or eliminate it. 

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How might the skill of naming redirect your narrative into a more meaningful direction?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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