Blog with news, updates, reflections, and writing projects by Jessica Raven Littlestar.

Replacing this One Word in my Vocabulary Changed My Life

When my brother and I were growing up, my parents would chastise us for using the word "hate." The common response to our outbursts of refusal and resistance was "hate is a strong word, choose a different word."

Crossing the boundary into "I hate you" was a step I was never inclined to take, as it was laced with a fear of the power that word had to divide what I cherished so much; the love and connection between me and my family.

In a world where everything we say or do affects the people around us, our choice of language is one of the most powerful ways we can consciously decide how and what we contribute to other people's experience of life.

More importantly than that, the words and language we learn and use on a daily basis become the fundamental sound vibrations that make up our being – our physical body as well as our spiritual body.

Read this short + clear summation of the physical, energetic, and spiritual components of being human, by Sarah Petruno. She says the following:

When there’s a change made in the spiritual body, a shift in attitude, thought, or even a soul’s experience of growth, this is again, a change in energy.  As such, there’s an appropriate change in the energetic body, that has the potential to impact energy tied to the physical body (i.e. a physical sensation accompanying the change in the spiritual body).

What this means is that any form of energy that you consciously focus on (like a thought or a word or entire vocabulary) carries with it a vibration that ripples out and affects your cells, your emotions, and your spirit, as well as those of the people around you.

Words are wands, and language is powerful. I realized that by eliminating "hate" from my vocabulary, I was naturally more surrounded by people and things that I liked, and when I felt angry or negative emotions towards something, I was generally more prone to find something in the situation that felt better than "hate." I didn't want to carry that heavy, ugly vibration around with me.

The problem is, "hate" is a word that's been coined to describe a very real human experience of anger, hurt, fear, and pain. It's defined as "feeling intense or passionate dislike." 

Intense or passionate dislike. 

I'm going to nerd a tiny bit farther on the language here, and then I'm going to show you how this understanding helped me replace the word "hate" with a word that acknowledged my intense and passionate dislike without carrying it as a negative vibration in my body.

Dis- is a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force (see de-, un-2. ); used freely, especially with these latter senses, as an English formative: disability; disaffirm; disbar; disbelief; discontent; dishearten; dislike; disown. 

 A negative or reversing force suggests a polarity – a contrast, a balance, an experience which has an exactly intensely and passionately opposite experience available in reality.

What could this be, perhaps?


Hmm. "Hate" was the language describing the contrasting experience to the natural flow of love and abundance that is the nature of life, and the very core essence of our being. We gravitate towards love. We seek it, ache for it, cling to it, and let it tear us apart with its lessons and devastating loss of who we thought we were. We cry for it, yearn for it, and in believing in the illusion of love's absence, we feed our vibration of hate and become pained, vindictive, and even murderous. 

This is a human experience – a universal experience – so how do we avoid talking about it? 

My world shifted profoundly when I was in high school, listening to some gossip which involved the provocative statement of, "I hate her" followed by a pointed non-verbal invitation for me to agree.

Ah, classic, teenage bonding.

What I said was, "I dont prefer hanging out with her."

And that changed my life. Prefer. The word that replaced hate, that identified my dislike and gave me an escape from the vortex of negative energy that was gossip – language acting as a hasty mask for the insecurity and fear I could recognize in my peers, as well as myself.

I now take this one step further and use "prefer" only in the positive sense: "I prefer ______thing that makes me happy and leads me closer to love."

"I hate that" becomes: I prefer this.
"I hate traffic" becomes:  I prefer driving when the roads are clear.
"I hate waiting in line" becomes: I prefer lots of available cashiers.

Now, if you're at all like me, you'll realize saying "I prefer lots of available cashiers" sounds kind of out-of-place in checkout line conversation. Likely, the situation where that would arise is one where "I hate" is used only in an effort to form connection over dislike. You can imagine yourself looking around, thinking "I hate" thoughts in almost any situation, and finding other people whose facial expressions match that vibration, that give you a sense of belonging or validation in your dislike.

The power of speaking in preference is the power to consciously and rapidly change the situations you're in, shifting your perspective to notice and intend more good things; more things that you prefer. 

When you replace "hate" and "don't like" with "prefer":

  • you will have more meaningful, positive interactions.
  • you will naturally stop gossip and negativity in its tracks.
  • you will disarm your own self-sabotaging strategies
  • you will feel empowered with a tool that raises your vibration, and your mood, instantly.
  • you will be calmer and more able to handle negative emotions

Beyond these immediate changes, living day-to-day with your focus on what you do prefer in every situation helps your entire body, mind, and spirit come into harmony with the things, relationships, and opportunities that are actually most closely aligned with your deepest needs and desires.

In other words, you begin to align with your highest purpose, your true nature as unconditional love, and the unique life designed for your soul.

Move on from "I hate," which puts you in a place of victimhood and lack of control, and step into the power of "I prefer." Announcing your preference is an ever-expanding opportunity to tell the Universe: "This is the life I want. This is the environment I choose to see. These are the good aspects of life that I choose to focus on." And so the Universe responds by bringing you more of what you prefer.

It starts slowly, step-by-step, day by day, with catching yourself in moments of "hate."

It starts with saying "I prefer this, but I still have this and I hate this" and catching yourself, eliminating hate, and focusing again:

"I'm experiencing this, and I prefer this, and I'm okay with feeling negative right now because I know that focusing on my preference will move me towards more experiences that feel good." 

Abraham-Hicks talks about preference in a way that makes a lot of sense to me, describing how to follow your feelings to identify your preferences to get shaper, clearer, and more focused on the life you are manifesting. Check it out, and pick up the book Ask and It Is Given for more: 

You'll be absolutely stunned at how powerful this simple practice is. I am thankful that I was raised in an environment that was very much aware of the power of language. That being said, I am no stranger to the fire of hatred and the intense emotional rollercoaster surrounding it. In my moments of despair, of rage, of being unable to focus on anything other than my feelings, I know that it's okay, and most important to be present and honour what I'm feeling. It's okay to feel the feelings of hatred when they are present in your body. It's damaging to focus on and create more of those feelings by thinking and speaking to them. In idle chatter or regular conversation, eliminate hate. Honour what is. And focus on what you prefer.

Questions? Comments? Have you put this into practice? I'm always happy to hear your stories.

Much love,