A Four-Letter Word for Freedom
“It probably doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.”
– John C. Parkin
How do I begin a column about John C. Parkin’s new book when it’s all about the “F” word? Yes, that word. The one that our mothers taught us never to say.
I’ll play it safe and try an historic approach: Did you know that there are many theories about how the “F” word first came about? Some say that it originated during the Middle Ages when the growing population was being controlled by the reigning king. If a couple wanted children, they had to seek royal permission. Thus the phrase emerged: Fornicating Under Consent of the King—later shortened to its four-letter version. Others say that it is credited to Irish law where the crime of adultery was documented on the police blotter as being booked For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Both acronyms, however, are said to be mere urban legends.
Oh, who am I kidding? Whatever its origin, one thing is true: The “F” word has caused quite a ruckus throughout history—and still continues to do so today. It was solely responsible for the banning of James Joyce’s famous epic Ulysses, the censorship of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the trial of its publisher; the imprisonment of stand-up comedian and satirist Lenny Bruce, the invocation of the 10-second delay for live television broadcasts after singer Bono let it slip out at the Golden Globe Awards, the constant trouble that George Carlin was getting himself into, and the list goes on. And let’s not forget all of the “frakking” dialogue on the new version of Battlestar Galactica!
Of course, the “F” word may have found more comfortable places to live nowadays—on cable TV, at many sporting events, in text messages, in office lunchrooms and—thanks to Gordon Ramsey’s fondness for the word—in its own TV show.
However, let the truth be told. Wherever and whenever this expletive is used—as a noun, an interjection, or endeared with the name of a family member—it’s bound to rattle a few nerves.
And that’s John’s point. He wants to shake you up! He sees us in our dualistic world where we’re trapped and free, tense and relaxed, sick and well and he wants to move us from bad to good, from stressed to chilled and from materialistic to peaceful. When you read John’s amusing and empowering book F**K It Therapy, you’ll laugh along as he shows us this “new therapy” of using the power of the queen-mother of all dirty words to shake you out of the stress and anxiety that dominates your daily life. John offers you many opportunities to toss this “F” bomb over all of your troubles—toxic relationships, illness, money woes, self-control issues, fear, self-doubt, perfectionism, a lousy job or even the weather—and watch the expressive explosion clear them away.
In his very lighthearted book, John also has a valuable lesson for us. He believes that we are stuck in a prison of our own making. He believes that we hold on to too many things.
Do you have trouble surrendering that inner junk that makes you miserable—taking things too personally, not feeling good enough, worrying too much about how you look and what others think? John’s solution: Just say those two liberating and colorful words and let go of your pain.
It may be a little shocking at first, but soon you’ll notice something quite astonishing: The more you use it, the more it loses its power and allows you the freedom to do whatever it is you want to do.
If you’re sensitive to this familiar expletive, this may not be the book for you. Though, you certainly may know several brazen relatives and friends who may benefit from it. Click here to purchase F**K It Therapy.
Thank you for keeping an open mind. Thank you for letting us get awfully close to crossing the line. And for those who dare, we invite you to taste the spiritual freedom of telling all of your trouble to just ______ (We’ll let you fill in the blank!)
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