3 words I never thought hurt – Part 2

Posted: January 26, 2015 in New stuff
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile. Not for any reason except I say these words to myself often. I realized I hear them all the time, too, but never stopped to really think about what they mean. As a writer, that’s a horrible state to be in. Not thinking about the meaning of words. It’s akin to walking naked into a coffee shop, ordering a hot latte, then proceeding to pour it all over yourself. You realize first that you’re naked, second that you’re in a coffee shop with lots of other folks, and third, it hurts.

It hurts more than normal.

Here are the words in a sentence, then I’ll break down what they mean to me in three #MondayBlogs.

Here it is –

I would, if I could and I should, but I won’t.

Would. Could. Should.

This second week’s word – Could

If you look up the word Could at dictionary.com this is what you see
1. a simple past tense of can.


Past tense.

She could lose weight.

He could be a real husband.

They could learn to drive better.

I could be a better mom.

I could write more on my novel.

I could look better.

My mind translates the word into a judgement.

She could lose weight if she drank more water and exercised.

He could be real husband if he quit staying late at work.

They could learn to drive better if they were born in this country.

I could be a better mom if my husband made enough to send our kids to private school.

I could write more on my novel if I gave up seeing my kids and wife.

I could look better, if I took these pills.

We use the word to judge others so we don’t feel so bad. Inside our heads it’s automatically translated into these words.

My insecurities are so big, I’m sure everyone can see them.

If I don’t redirect or misdirect everyone’s attention, I will be exposed for a fraud that I feel I am.

Besides, no matter how bad I am, I’m not as bad as that person.

If I want to feel better, I’ll just go to the local Walmart and watch what walks through the door.

Redirection. Misdirection. All with the use of a simple past tense word.

The truth is I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I look at my own behavior and I cringe. Then I say, “I could do better…”

There it is again. That word. So, I have to redirect my misdirection.

Instead I say, “I can do better next time.”

“The good news is, we get a choice with every moment.” – Sheli G.

I learned this quote in an amazing workshop last year.

Don’t judge me!
Some of us take a while to learn the lesson!

What are your thoughts?  How do you use the word – Could?


  1. Loni Townsend says:

    I find it very interesting that you pair every could with the word if. My natural progression with could is “now that”. The unfortunate (or perhaps fortunate) effect of “now that” is that it assumes opportunity.

    She could lose weight now that she was over her cold and had the energy to move.
    He could be a real husband now that his job no longer required travel.
    They could learn to drive better now that the street construction wasn’t blocking access to the range.

    Perhaps I use could wrong, since all of my uses aren’t past tense, but potential. I think I’ll have to study this word more.


  2. irisdraak says:

    You’re on to something here. I like it! I’m sharing it.


  3. Great entry and you are right those are judging words. As a therapist I try to stay away from that language and to teach clients the same. I had a professor tell me one time that “when you use the word should, eventually you will should all over yourself.” That was powerful and I have held that concept close ever since.


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