Not long ago I encountered a long lost friend in a museum.
After joyously greeting each other and talking about the
wonderful coincidence of such an encounter, she asked me
what I was doing. She is a native Spanish speaker and so I told
her in Spanish, that I was “retirada”. She looked confused and
asked if I meant that I was no longer working in my career. I
said, yes, I had retired from my long term career as a school
social worker, but was continuing my part time career as a
psychotherapist. She informed me that in Spain, one never uses
the word “retired” for a person, but only for objects, such as
those fine art works hanging on the walls around us. The word
that is used in her native language is “jubilada” or jubilated.
What a difference a word makes! “Retired” versus “jubilated”.
When we say these two words to ourselves, what feelings do
we experience? What pictures do we see in our minds? The
two words are completely different, yet mean the same thing:
to end a career. Yet when we think of the word “retired”, most
of us would say that it means to stop working, to put an end to
something, to hide out of sight, etc. The word “jublilated” in
English brings to mind such words as joy, excitement and
celebration. The difference in feelings is obvious and all
because of a word!
As we progress through life, how do we talk to ourselves or
describe our lives to others? As you can see from the example
above, the words that we use with others and most
importantly, to ourselves, matter greatly. Negative self talk
brings us down and positive self talk lifts us up. How we use
words and self talk matters. Practice positive self talk daily and
your life will be more enriched.