Recoiling In My Dreams
Back in 2001, I read Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis's book "The Committed Life". In one chapter she wrote:
"Do you want your children to hear foul language from your lips? Do you want your home to be a place where shouts and curses are daily fare? And should you argue that you wouldn't curse in front of your children, you should know that you're kidding yourself. You just can't turn it on and off like that. No one can."
These words really gave me pause and made me resolve to stop using profanity. I was able to rid my vocabulary of these objectionable words by fining myself $20 every time I swore. After two or three slip-ups, I quickly learned that I needed to think before I spoke. I then slowly weeded out other words from my vocabulary in favor of more refined ones; replacing "hate" with "dislike", "crazy" with "ridiculous", "stupid" with "silly" or "nonsensical", and in certain cases "love" with "enjoy" in order to use the word correctly.
Interestingly, even though it has been five years since I have used profanity, I occasionally swear in my dreams and then immediately recoil at my use of such words.
I continue to be amazed how words become embedded in our subconscious despite the fact that we never use them anymore.
Afterthought: The word "coincidence" should not exist in the vocabulary of a chassid.