Spells and spelling, grammar and Grammarie… magic is often formed of words. It’s not all about high ceremony or Latin. The magical use of language does not of itself have to be that esoteric or arcane, it is simply about how you put your will into the world.
“Oops” is a powerful magical word because of the possibilities it creates and the changes it allows. Being able to say “oops” allows a person to own a mistake. The mistakes we cannot admit to are ones we cannot do anything about. If we have to protect our wrongness, we cannot learn, grow or change. We cannot fix what went wrong. “Oops” allows us to do all those things.
It can be frightening to have to admit failure, ignorance or other shortcomings. “Oops” is a gentle, non-judgemental sort of word. It enables acknowledgement without bringing with it too much in the way of guilt, shame or awkwardness. This is important because guilt, shame and awkwardness tend to get in the way of learning and transformation, and are often barriers to it. “Oops” releases the problem gently, and allows the person saying it to recognise the problem without beating themselves up. This in turn is liberating, and for the person who suffers shame and guilt, or has been shamed repeatedly, the gentleness of an “oops” can itself be a healing experience.
Offering “oops” to anyone else affected by what went wrong is also transformative. This can work in a number of ways. With the problem recognised, it becomes possible to ask for help or information, or whatever else was lacking in the first place. A mistake made in ignorance can be soothed away by the simple recognition that it was not intended to hurt, but it did hurt. The former without the latter is worthless. It is one of the important limits of will working – your will does not define reality, only contributes to it. Therefore if the result is not in line with your will, the result is not wrong, it is the sum of all the factors of which your will was only one. You cannot make reality follow your will by refusing to accept when that’s not happened. If an error has an unintended effect, “oops” allows you to find out what the other variables were, and that gives you better scope for getting what you want next time.
With “oops” in the mix, the way is opened to ask what we do now. What would help? What would get us to where we want to be? What do we need to know? What do other people need to know? “Oops” becomes a gateway, a transition point, an opening up of options.
We need to take our words seriously. Careful use of language gets things done. Careless communication can be self defeating. Small words can have huge implications.