Infamous words that aren’t dirty.
Some words have a pretty bad reputation, and for no good reason.
Here are a few.
Unfortunately, vagina is not a word often used in polite company and neither is basically any word for female genitalia.
Let’s get this out in the open: there is nothing negative or inappropriate about the word vagina.
Personally, I find this word to be much more acceptable, but I’m not entirely sure why. Oh wait, maybe it has something to do with our male-dominated society. (Just an idea.) Still, in all fairness, let’s clear this up as well: penis is not a bad word.
Yeah, that might be an odd transition, yet here it is: God.
Sure some people can offend by trying to force their religious beliefs on others, but that shouldn’t make God an overall dirty word.
I’ll be the first to admit that marriage takes hard-work along with high doses of love and kindness. Regardless, some marriages are better off ending in divorce. This extremely personal decision shouldn’t become a word that people are afraid to say, for fear of being judged.
Mental illnesses—along with disorders that people generally don’t know much about—often get an unfair rap, simply because they are misunderstood and not because there’s something inherently bad about them.
My dad’s a pharmacist. I grew up with drugs being a normal word. Yes, illicit and harmful drugs can be unsettling, but this word is another one that isn’t all evil.
The yoga community, especially, loves to use terms like ego and pride to illustrate negative behaviors. However, pride in oneself and pride in one’s community are positive feelings that can help create environments of love and understanding.
So, pride, you’re okay in my book.
One of my all-time favorite songs is On Your Own by The Verve.
Its refrain,”You come in on your own and you leave on your own,” is so true—and so beautiful, if you allow it to be.
Spending time alone can be exquisite and living alone can be both healing and educational. Of course, we are social creatures, but we’re also wonderfully individual, independent beings.
Daydreamer is another word with an unfortunate connotation.
Let us not forget that our world is repeatedly changed by daydreamers with feet firmly rooted to the ground. (It is possible to be both.)
It takes big dreams and big goals to instigate and create change and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world without dreams. Call me a daydreamer—you’d be right.
It isn’t necessarily the words we use that are bad, it’s the definitions and stigmas that are carried along with them.
I invite you to pay more attention to the emotional and mental attachments that are placed upon your everyday word choices because sometimes questioning what and why things are accepted—while others are not—is all it takes to make room for new meanings—both with words and in life.
“Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations.”
~ Alfred Adler
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Lucy Burrluck