BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD (PART II)
The first of the Four Agreements according to Don Miguel Ruiz is "Be impeccable with your word." Now, I wrote a previous post with this very same title, but meant it in a different way. When I hear this phrase I think of a few things, first of which is summarized like this: Mean what you say and say what you mean. Words are powerful and therefore my wish is for people to use them with forethought and conviction. If you're unsure what words to use, take a moment and let the right words come to you. Don't just say something to make noise. And once you say it, be ready to defend it. That's what I was referring to in my previous post.
But Ruiz has another interpretation that is similiar, yet different. We both are referring to the power of words, the meaning of words and the need for people to use the right words to express themselves. Ruiz goes a step further and says that because words are so powerful use them to enlighten and express love for one another and oneself. Do not use them for petty things like gossip and criticism because those things can create destructive agreements within others. And in turn, others will hate us and we will then internalize those feelings of hate and create destructive agreements within ourselves. In other words, what goes around comes around.
He cites the example of Hitler. Hitler used the tremendous power of word to rally millions behind him in his quest to exterminate an entire race of people. And how did he do it? Well, he used words to plant seeds within the minds of the German people about why they were out of work, why they were the victims of crime, why they couldn't afford to put food on the table for their families. The German people took those words to heart and in turn millions upon millions of people were slaughtered. So the next time you wish to pass on some juicy little tidbit about a friend or neighbor or you want to poke fun at someone's outrageous answer to your question - think about the power of words. What will your comments do to that person? Will they be helpful? Inspirational? Or will they hurt and if so, why say them? Never underestimate the power of a good word. It can save a life or cause extreme harm.
And while our words about others have positive/negative effects in their lives, what does this mean for us on a personal level? Well, according to Ruiz, the word impeccable comes from the latin word for "sin" and the "im" obviously makes impeccable to mean "without sin." But not sin in a religious or moral sense, instead Ruiz believes that sin is "anything you do that goes against yourself. . . You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. . . Being impeccable is not going against yourself. Being impeccable is taking responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself."
WOW! If only it were that easy. We all make mistakes, yes? No one is perfect no matter how hard some of us try to be. So why beat yourself up when you fall short of perfection? It makes complete sense, yet it is very hard to implement. We are taught from a very young age to crave validation from others - "You're such a good girl!" "I'm so proud of you!" "That makes Mommy so happy!" Now, parents aren't intentionally trying to hurt their children, but when we don't do things that make us "good girls" or our parents "proud" there is often guilt and shame on our part. If you follow this first agreement, then the guilt and shame no longer come into play. We simply take responsibility for the mistake or questionable action and we move on.
This alone can change your life. What if we could actually rid ourselves of guilt? Of blame? Where does that leave Christianity? I mean, what if we lived our lives well to the best of our abilities and it didn't measure up to Mom or Dad or society's expectations? So what! As long as we are true to ourselves and listen to our truth we will be happy. We will make positive contributions to the world. We will attain a sense of peace within ourselves that we have never felt before.
Can you be impeccable with your word? Do you love yourself enough? Are you able to break the agreements of your past that require you to be validated from without and begin to get your happiness from within? How will you do it? What one thing will you do tomorrow, in the next week or the next month that will test your commitment to be impeccable with your word? How will you begin? Or have you already started your journey?
Please share your thoughts with me on this most powerful and life changing of ideas.