Today I am reminded that my words are powerful. I can be loving, caring and my words can be a catalyst for love, peace, joy and happiness. Or, I can be upset, fearful, irritable and my words can be harsh and do harm. Today I found myself overdone- in a frenzy of getting ready to go somewhere with the family. It was hot, I was frustrated and just plain over it! In the midst of all of it came a disagreement with my partner and, I hate to say it, I lost it. I blamed and yelled.
Looking at it now I am remorseful and even right after I felt regret as we traveled in the car not speaking much, however justified I still felt I was. 😉 I can laugh as these arguments do happen in any relationship, but the result was toxic for half a day. Was it necessary to shout? Use harsh words? Blame? This brought me to think of mindfulness and the loss of spirituality in that moment.
The Buddhists call it “right speech” or “mindful speech”, Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “being impeccable with your word”, and I am sure there are others that have touched on this topic. Oftentimes I have spoke with my clients about buttons that can get pressed that take us to that space where we are not being impeccable with our word. The idea, to me, is to unhook those buttons. But how???
In terms of mindful speech, I believe it is finding a way to pause and bring my thoughts and feelings into my awareness. Then, I ask myself some questions about what I am about to say. There are many quick inventories to choose from. Here are a few…
From Buddhism and Thich Nhat Hanh~
1. Speak truthfully
2. Do not speak with a forked tongue, telling one person one thing and another something different.
3. Do not speak cruelly- do not shout, slander, curse, encourage suffering or create hatred.
4. Do not embellish or exaggerate.
Dennis Merritt Jones on “being impeccable with your word”
1. Is it true? Do I know beyond a shadow of adoubt that what I am repeating is accurate and true, or is based on hearsay and assumptions that I or others have made without gathering all the facts from an impartial and reliable source?
2. Whatwill I gain from repeating these words to others? Will what I am going to say be life affirming, productive and helpful to all involved and will the world be a better place because I uttered these words? If not, why would I want to repeat them?
3. Is what I am about to say about another person something I would have the clarity, courage and commitment to say to their face, and, if so, why don’t I do so?
4. Will what I am going to say be using the power of my word in the direction of truth and love?
Not sure where this one came from…
Any of these questions can bring some assistance to any situation. Although, if you just try to bring it up to yourself in a stressed moment, I believe it would be impossible to utilize. Daily reminders by reading something can keep it current. The simpler the better. The “think” one works for me, and reminds me of how my words can affect others. My habits create the scenario where I resort to old coping skills that end up making me compromise my integrity. I feel bad for the way I treated my partner, but even worse the way I disregarded myself by becoming someone I do not want to be.
“Before we speak ,or hit the forward and send button, it would do us well to pause and become witness to our thoughts before they become our word. I invite you to join me in using the power of your word in an intentional and conscious manner. Not just because speaking with integrity is the right thing to do, but because the world needs and deserves the absolute highest and best that we can bring to it. When we gossip and spread rumors–when we speak less than impeccably about others–we are affirming to the universe that hears our every word that we feel separate and apart from the whole of life–we are declaring our own lack of wholeness. When we are not impeccable in our word we participate in creating pain and suffering forothers and that is not why we have come to earth. What we think and say matters, so being impeccable with our word seems like a great place to start” (Dennis Merritt Jones)
I know the power of intention, so this week I am going to intend to be impeccable with my word. I know that my world will shift with this one simple idea.