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Words like "Reality", "Soul", "Trauma", and "Emergence"—Overused? 🏷️

3things jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness stayinlove May 19, 2022


There are a bunch of words that I think we overuse in spiritual circles. "Reality" is one of them. "Soul" is another. "Trauma" is a third. "Emergence" is often problematic too. We all probably have a personal list of pet peeve words—my sister doesn’t like the word "trigger", and a friend recently questioned my use of the term "consciousness-itself". I trust both are seeing something.

Sometimes words like these hide assumptions that lead to loss of meaning. (Eg: "reality" often pretends to ignore subjectivity). Other times we add connotational riders to these words to make us sound powerful or mystical (eg: 'soul') in ways that sadly obscure the very experiences we are trying to feel in using them. We make-believe a boundary on infinity every time we name something, and sometimes we sneak in a way to feel special in our boundary-making. My experience of mysticism is that it asks us to let go of specialness (perhaps by feeling into the present-moment sense of not-special that specialness tries to solve); to be open to remaking ourselves and our understanding of what’s happening in any (every) moment.

So I invite us to be mystics rather than spiritual-word-people. Let's pay more attention to what’s happening here and now and find fresh words to describe the occurrence. Sometimes this is hard; sometimes it's slow or feels embarrassing. So let's also be patient, forgiving, and generous with each other. Let’s be playful—this is not a call for perfection. And let’s have fun.


With love, Jordan


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