I decided that as part of my spiritual recovery I wanted to “clean up” my language. I profess to being a fan of the 4-letter word, as well as other colorful and versatile adjectives that I would not use in front of my mother. However, I believe that words have power and energy, and today what I want to manifest in my recovery is positive, loving energy. I also started recognizing that when I was frustrated and/or angry about something and would start spewing forth a string of “those colorful, yet negative” words, it just riled me up more, kept my frustration/anger going longer than it might have if I had chosen other language. This makes sense to me because I’m just adding more negative energy to the stew. As one of the stories in the Big Book says, “What we focus on increases.”
So I decided to see if I could make it through one day without swearing. I told a friend of mine what I was going to try, and she related to me that her mother didn’t like to use “bad words,” so she would use the word “carrot” instead. Both of us thought that was funny. The next day I was in the kitchen trying to open a stubborn jar and getting very annoyed. I was mindful of wanting to choose different language to express my frustration, so I said, perhaps shouted, “Well, carrot!” And I started laughing. The frustration/anger left me.
I had thought it was going to be hard to refrain from using “those words,” especially the f-word, one of my favorites, a very user-friendly and versatile word, in my opinion. However, it has not been difficult at all. I have had very few slips and have been “clean” for over 5 months now. “Carrot” is now my go-to word, and I have found that I can be very creative with it, depending on my level of anger. There’s “son of a carrot, you freaking carrot, mother carrot,” and so forth. “Carrot” may not be quite as satisfying as the f-word , but it has something that I never found in my former language: humor. Saying “carrot” and all its variations takes the edge off, often makes me smile, and it definitely diminishes and shortens my reactiveness. These days, the worst thing to come out of my mouth is a carrot or two. It’s kinder to the Universe and kinder to me.