Do you ever find yourself watching television and noticing certain words get bleeped, but other offensive language gets a pass? As a parent, this sort of thing has bothered me for awhile. There is a lot of language I don’t want my children exposed to, and certain genres of shows can be unpredictable. But recently, I noticed the effect bleeping language has on me and my inner dialog. My inner dialog patterns seem to be a major focus of my spiritual journey this Lent.
I was raised quite conservatively, in an Evangelical home. I can’t remember hearing my parents swear, not even once. But gradually the world began to infiltrate my bubble. I went to a public high school. I know all the words. Sadly, I have used many of them.
So when certain vocabulary is bleeped, I can readily supply the missing adjective, even when the lips are likewise blurred out. Moreso, it seems an audible bleep seems to be a signal to supply that word in my own mind. Suddenly, because of a tone, my mind has been violated. Or, I have passively allowed my mind to be violated.
I’ve noticed this effect doesn’t tend to happen when words are simply silenced. But that is not the more common method.
I’ve discovered that I still have a choice. I can consciously choose to substitute a neutral, or even positive word over that bleep. It may take some time, but I hope to establish a new pattern, a new habit of mind. So far, the results of this new discipline have been rewarding. Having these words pass through my mind less frequently, keeps them further from my tongue. It is one way that I can dwell on what is pure.
How about you, is there a theme to your Lenten season?