What’s most important in Clean Language?
Is it the way they work with metaphor, the atom of thought?
Or is it something less obvious? Perhaps it’s the way that they almost force you to pay attention: to listen fully to the reality that another person is experiencing.
Recently, someone shared the following story with me. I had to hold back tears as I read it.
“I’ll tell you about a chat I had with my son. We were exhausted by neighbours who threatened us, cut down our flowerbeds and rose bushes with the blessing of the landlords, and insulted us with obscenities on the street. We finally found a new flat and were preparing to move.
“Just before packing up, our son (12 at the time) told us that he liked living in the apartment, having friends just a house away, being able to go everywhere he wanted on his kickboard. I realized he was summing up all the goodness of his childhood and defending it against his parents’ despair.
“I remembered Clean Language. I let him talk out all he had to say, and didn’t have to counter-argue or give evidence, or explain why we were moving. Of course, he knew. His story of a wonderful childhood could just be there in the room.
“I can’t say that I used a single Clean question. But being present for a very important metaphor/story, without having to interrupt it with my stuff, well, I was very proud of myself. And proud of my son for defending his childhood.
“For all the anguish I had with the abusive neighbor, I could hold my tongue long enough for my son to frame his good experiences, how he wanted to remember the time in that town. And just leave it at that.”
I can’t tell you who wrote that story. It was someone who had downloaded my ebook, and who completed a survey I sent out later, and from the context I would guess it was someone who’d learned Clean Language via my online course, Metaphor Mastery.
Whoever you are, thanks for sharing!