One of the many books that I am currently reading is "Eat, Pray, Love, One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia" written by Elizabeth Gilbert. On pages 102-105, Elizabeth tells her readers about a discussion that she has with an Italian friend of hers. Elizabeth has come to the realization that Rome isn't where she really belongs even though she loves the country of Italy. Her friend Giulio says the reason she doesn't belong is because her word is not the same as the word of Rome.
His theory is that each city has one word that describes it. Giulo says (paraphrased by Elizabeth) that ". . . every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there. If you could read people's thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever that majority thought might be---that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don't really belong there." According to Giulo the word for Rome is SEX. The word for the Vatican is POWER. According to Elizabeth, the word for New York City is probably ACHIEVE and for Los Angeles the word would be SUCCEED.
Giulo then proceeded to ask Elizabeth, "What was the word in your family when you were growing up?" Then he asked Elizabeth was her word was?
The word in my family when I was growing up would have to be RAGE. Rage overpowered every word, every act, every thought in my family when I was growing up. What was the word for your family? Are you still living that word or has it changed? Has that word become the pattern that you have recreated in relationship after relationship in your adulthood? Many of us do this until something causes us to wake up and see what we are creating.
What would be my word today? SEEKING could be my word. TRUTH could be another. It is really difficult to stick with just one. SPIRITUAL would be good. Some days, WARRIOR is true.
When I first left home, APPROVAL was probably my word. I wanted the approval of others at any cost. If I had your approval, I must be ok. I must have value. I must be good enough if you liked me. Today, it is ok if you approve of me but my own approval is much more valuable to me. If you don't approve of me today, that is ok too. I know that I can't please everyone. For the most part, as long as I am true to who I am, I really don't care much what you think. My true value comes from me, not you.
What is your word?