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A Beautiful But. Friday August 16, 2013

'But' has had a bad reputation. It is said that everything that comes before it in a conversation or a sentence is negated by this innocuous little conjunction. "I love you but..." wipes away the reassuring compliment and draws attention only to what comes next.

This is why so many motivational speakers encourage their audiences to use 'and' instead. 'And' draws us together can lets us have our cake and eat it!

I believe there is a beautiful but, however. This is the 'but' that can control the inner tyrant that many of us wrestle with on a daily basis. I sincerely cannot remember a time when my inner critic ever said anything nice, positive or edifying to me. It is an inner voice that is quick to find fault. Most outer critics can be quick to find fault but at least they might grudgingly praise as well. Not so my inner critic – no praise comes from its lips.

So I have begun to use the power of my beautiful 'but' on the end of every damning criticism that passes through my thoughts. When the inner critic says, "You've not made much of yourself, have you?" my beautiful 'but' comes to the rescue and simply adds "but +". For example, I might add, "...but I've touched a lot of lives in a positive way."

Just as everything before the 'but' in a sentence is negated, I have found this blissfully simple technique is keeping my critic in its place and in perspective.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 7:44am

good idea - I like it!

Anonymous Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 7:53am

Yes. Sounds a good way of silencing that inner demon! I'll be trying it out. Thanks for sharing it.

C A Morgan Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 8:55am

Will be practising this very positive technique and appreciate the insight of the idea. Thank you.

minnie Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 9:13am

This is inspired. Thank you. A little nugget.

Loretta Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 9:22am

BUT what if you're so goddamn miserable you can't think of anything positive to say about yourself, like I feel just now.

Julia Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 9:48am

Hi Loretta. I feel a bit like you do today. I am not trying to be positive, just getting on with things and not thinking too much about what I should or shouldn't be doing to help me feel better.Perhaps not the right advice to give but just telling you what I think! On days like this, I prefer to be myself and wallow.

james g Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 10:01am

Day 1 @ Mood Scope. Thanks to JW for telling me about it!
Feeling good after reading "But" text.
Meds and therapy can help but I want and need to be better. Not all days will be good but TFI Friday.

Arjay Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 11:04am

Very clever and very useful.

Anonymous Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 11:14am

Hi Loretta

how about saying "I'm so goddamn miserable I can't think of anything positive to say about myself BUT I'm still here."

Julia Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 11:29am

Sounds ideal Loretta. Excellent choice of words.

Julia Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 11:30am

Sorry.. it wasn't Loretta but Anon. Excellent Anon!

olegzaezdny Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 11:37am

"BUT I can change it. I can do it and I WILL do it".
And you know, I'm sure you are a way better person than you think of yourself. The only fact that you think you are bad makes me think that you are actually NOT bad. When I was a schoolboy there was this plate with Leo Tolstoy's quotation: "A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself." So, you are better than you think you are...

olegzaezdny Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 11:38am

A very nice post today. I've never thought before of this positive side of "but". Thanks.

Loretta Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 12:19pm

Thank you both. I feel a tiny chink of the ice melting...

Dee Roye Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 1:40pm

Excellent, but it is!!

Lostinspace Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 7:03pm

Love this idea and I am going to try it out. Sometimes trying to get your mind off the negative rail is really hard and now putting in your "beautiful but" sounds like a good distraction technique and might actually be fun. Certainly a new way of looking at things. Thank you so much.

Anonymous Fri, Aug 16th 2013 @ 7:16pm

Dear folks, thank you for such an encouraging response today. I've tried to reply multiple times as Lexi and computer has said, "No!" BUT now I shall attempt an anonymous "Thank You!"

Anonymous Sat, Aug 17th 2013 @ 9:23pm

Simply love this! Thanks

Anonymous Sun, Aug 18th 2013 @ 12:28am

That's pretty profound. I'm quite excited at the idea of trying this out. thank you for such a good idea.

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