Starting to Delete “But’s” from my Life

Dear Reader:

I have come to realize (when I am proof-reading the blog before I put it to bed) that I use too many “but’s” in my sentences. By simply substituting another word like “and”  or “even though” I can control the overall positive thought of the sentence from ending negatively.

For example (in reference to the title photo): “My bright new colored letters make H O P E pop out at me each time I step on the deck, but I am sure by next year they will be just as faded as they were this year.” 

By changing a couple of words I have stated the same  thought while taking the negativity in the sentence ‘down a notch.”

“My bright new colored letters make HOPE pop out at me each time I step on the deck, even though by next year they might be just as faded as they were this year.”

“But” can be a real  “party pooper” if used too frequently.

Actually I am more guilty of using “but” as an unconscious put-down or slight…without even being fully aware of doing so…such as:

“The doctor seemed very young, but I hope he can hold his own with his patients. (I am indicating that I think simply being “young” is a deterrent to one’s medical expertise.)

“The phone representative sounded Polish, but I think he understood the problem. ” (Really, Becky…Do you think simply being Polish prevents him from explaining to you how to get your favorite television program back on again?)

As a child, adolescent, and now adult…don’t we all pause and hold our breath while asking for something important to us?…We are nervously waiting for the “but” to appear in the conversation. It will be the “but” that will end the chances of our wishes coming true.


“This summer camp you are describing sounds terrific Mike, but with the heating/air conditioning unit pronounced un-fixable, that is where the extra money in the budget must go this summer. ”

*When I use “but” from now on…I want it to be an upbeat “but.”

“I don’t know how we can send you to camp, Mike, with the air-conditioning unit broken, but somehow, some way we are going to put our heads together and give it our best shot”

“Franklin Roosevelt was never able to walk again after contracting polio, but this didn’t stop him from becoming our thirty-second President.”

Suddenly “but” is no longer seen as a negative deterrent but a word of determination and hope.

Kelly Rae Roberts, in her latest blog, remarked how she is substituting positive, upbeat words, also, so she can self-empower her personal wellness program and not unconsciously sabotage it with negativity aimed at herself.

Here are some examples she gives in her message: “Our Words Matter” The negative words she chooses to dispel are: bad, cheat, wrong, busy…even “I need to”…

If a person is on a diet and says “I cheated today on my diet…they are conveying that they have done something wrong. The person might continue by blaming the situation on “I’m so busy.” (making busy the enemy) Instead a person can say “My life is gloriously full.” ( busy=negative hustle energy, full= abundance.)

‘I’m having a bad week” becomes “I’m having a hard week…and I can do hard.” (bad=shame;  hard= an opportunity to be brave)

“This is my cheat meal” becomes “This is my reward meal.” (reward- celebration of something hard earned)

I need to lose twenty pounds.” Instead: “I invite good healthy eating habits into my life so I can feel comfortable again in my body.

Invite:= being present now and having hope for what we can change about our wellness journey.


You get the idea…we can do a number on ourselves when we fling negative, put-down words and expressions back at us. Instead we need to replace the negative with the positive, stay focused, and continue our path remembering God loves us unconditionally and  He wants us to take the steps to love ourselves enough to pursue the goals and dreams we were put here for.. .

So until tomorrow:

“A word is dead when it is said some say. I say it just begins to live that day” (So let’s keep these “live” words positive!)

Emily Dickinson

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I was on the back deck, yesterday morning, taking off the faded HOPE letters and putting on the bright colored ones…when Honey rounded the corner of the house carrying this gorgeous potted Asiatic Red Lily with pink rabbit glasses. Can we get any more Easter than this? Thank you my dear friend, Honey! Safe travels back today…hope no snow awaits you back in the mountains.





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Starting to Delete “But’s” from my Life

  1. bcparkison says:

    OH…We want to see the lilies when they open.


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