How Big is your… BUT ?

Three little letters, one small word, BUT.  One of the first words we learn, a sight word taught to us in elementary school.  BUT is used for multiple purposes .  It can be used as a conjunction, a preposition and an adverb, or a noun in a sentence.

Although small in size , BUT is quite the powerful word.  It can rob us of time. It  holds the ability to stop us from trying new experiences, serves as a barrier from connecting with others, and from seeing all that is possible.  Here are some examples; “I would love to _____ (fill in the Blank) write a book, learn a new language, travel, start my own business, plant a garden, learn how to cook, be in a relationship, the list goes on and on.  It’s our own unique list of things.  So here is where your BUT comes in.  Do you fill in the above blank and that’s the end of the sentence or do you continue with one of the following:

BUT I don’t have the time.

BUT I don’t have the money.

BUT I don’t know how.

BUT I am too old. 

BUT I am too young.

BUT I am not smart enough.

BUT I am a woman.

BUT I am a man.

The word YES like BUT is made up of three letters. It too is introduced into our vocabulary at an early age, and holds multiple identities in the english language. Standing on it’s own, YES can open new doors, lead to boundless possibilities and unexplored experiences. 

Let’s explore the pairing of these two words, YES and BUT.  How often do we say YES, while really meaning no ?  How often do the words  “ YES, BUT” insert themselves into our responses?  As a couple this is a powerful duo.  For example;  “YES I would like to meet you , BUT I have another commitment.”  In reality there is no other commitment.  It’s just easier to say YES/BUT instead of simply saying No.  In this way using BUT as a default robs us of our authenticity and makes it easy to lie.

This is something  I had never thought about  until recently, BUT once I did I was stunned.   I spent hours reviewing all the ways I have been effected by this three letter word.  I pondered is there a way to shift it’s role from being restrictive to one that is expansive.  Here is what I concluded.  BUT can be a giver rather than a taker.  Let’s take a look: I don’t have a lot of experience, BUT I am willing to learn.  I know things seem uncertain right now, BUT I trust they will all workout.  I have never done this before, BUT  I am willing to try. 

Is your BUT weighing you down, or helping you to soar?  Only you can decide. The choice is yours.


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