There is one word I wish would go extinct, it is the word TRY. You might argue that there as so many worse words that should be eliminated from existence first: war, hate, poverty… But if each of these words represents the dark-side of humanity then there must be a counterbalance to each word. The light-side gives us peace, love, abundance… What is the counterbalance to the word TRY? As hard as I ponder this there isn’t one.
If you try to have peace. It means you have not succeeded in having it. You might argue that a ceasefire is trying to have peace. No, a ceasefire just means the weapons have changed. Instead of guns, people still have the animosity that created the war in the first place. The anger or hate or fear will come out maybe in words, maybe in discrimination, maybe with angry looks but these are all forms of non-peace. They are all still war.
The statements: I tried to be nice to you. AND I was not nice to you. AND I was unkind to you. — are all the same statement. The difference to me is the first sentence is the coward’s way out. My questions are: Why if you “tried” did you not succeed? Why can’t you be honest with me and just say, “I did an unkind thing and apparently I’m not ready to stop doing that unkind thing?” Why do you expect me to reward you for not completing the task (finding a way to be kind to me?)? Trying is the excuse we use to not put the effort into REALLY doing what we said we wanted to do.
If you are a contractor and I hire you to fix my roof and you tried to fix it — guess what? — I’m still stuck with a leaky roof.
If you are a doctor and you tried to save my life — guess what? — I’m still dead.
If you are a friend who tried to be kind to me — guess what? — I still am left with no kindness.
I find it exhausting to hear all the time what people have not done. If all the world leaders banded together to achieve peace in the Middle East — we would have it. If all Americans decided our school children should have an equal education — they would have it. If everyone in my town decided that we would be carbon neutral — we would.
If I say I tried to garden today. What the heck does that mean? One obvious answer is I did NOT garden today. But it doesn’t tell you what I did do. I wrote my blog post today. I went to the farmer’s market today. I changed the cat litter today. Notice how all of these involve actions. There is not one moment in our day that doesn’t involve an action. Resting, sleeping, meditating — these are all actions as much as — running, vacuuming, eating — are actions.
The first step in making a change is determining if your desires and your actions match. This of course involves being brutally honest with yourself. If you’re patting yourself on the back because you are trying to have a better marriage — peaceful world — healthier diet — cleaner house … check to see how often you are using the word TRY. And then chuck it. And then admit to yourself what you really ARE doing. We can’t change the world until we change ourselves. Imagine showing up for a peace rally but you are arguing with your mate or angry because your child didn’t clean their room or judging the woman in front of you for what she is wearing. This is where the word “trying” loves to sneak into our thoughts. I’m not perfect but at least I’m trying. Somewhere deep in yourself — you recognize the hypocrisy of this. Stop spending energy on the negative which gets you more negative. It’s okay to fail, as long as we admit that is what we have done. As long as we learn from the experience. As long as we make a change. And keep making the changes until we succeed.
I went for a walk after the first draft of this post. I set out to take some in focus photos of nature. Sometimes I did this and sometimes I did not.
As long as we keep TRYING to solve the world’s problems — WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE THEM.
It goes without saying, that I write about what I am working on in my pursuit of love — so yes — I will be keeping track of how many times I use the word TRY today. (And yes, that includes in my head — not just verbalized to someone else). I find I start my day with a list of all the things I want to try to get done — and then feel a failure because I never complete the list. So today, fail or succeed, I am going to focus on what action I am doing now.
What do you think about the word TRY? Do you use it frequently? If you stop or have stopped using it — let me if it’s brought about positive change in you life.