Remember a time when your word and a handshake were enough for you to trust a person? Ok, maybe that was all a myth, and we just glamorize the past.
But have you felt some days you need a lawyer just to talk to people? I know I have.
What if you found a way to change that for yourself? A method for you to speak and act which gave you peace of mind? There is a way, and it is called being Impeccable with your word.
Read on to find out how!
In an earlier article in our Catalyst for Change series, I wrote about The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
What Are The Four Agreements Of Life? Ideals That Will Make You Better, was a brief overview of the book and I felt that each one of the four agreements needed a more in-depth review as each one has such depth and potential for lasting personal change.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz discusses four agreements you need to make with yourself to find peace of mind and happiness in your life.
These four agreements are:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
In this article, I will be focusing on the first agreement, be impeccable with your word.
Ruiz gives a brief description of what this agreement means.
Being Impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.
So what does being impeccable with your word really mean? Hell, what does impeccable even mean? Is it immune to being pecked by chickens?
No of course not, according to Ruiz and backed up by Miriam Webster, impeccable means not capable of sinning, without sin.
We all view the word sin from whatever religious background we were brought up in.
I was raised Southern Baptist, and we had a whole list of sins.
Besides the ten commandments, sinning included:
- and fighting,
- to name just a few.
Not only were our actions a sin, but even our thoughts were also a sin! A sin is an offense against God, and it was easy to rack up an impressive list of sins.
I always felt as if I was one wrong decision away from Hell.
Ruiz gives a different definition of what sin is:
A sin is anything that you do, which goes against yourself. Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin.
This definition takes the religious and moral aspect out of the meaning of sin and makes it easier to understand. Simply put, sin begins with a rejection of yourself.
Self-rejection now becomes the biggest sin you can commit, it is a “mortal sin.”
So to be impeccable with your word is to hold yourself accountable for your words and your actions without blaming or judging yourself.
Does this give you free rein to go and say and do whatever your little heart desires? No, it doesn’t. Being impeccable with your word means you are using your thoughts, words, and actions in a way that aligns you with your true self.
By blaming and judging yourself, you are perpetuating the negative self-talk and feelings inside yourself. By accepting what you said or did was wrong, and by accepting being wrong hurts who you are, you can realign yourself in a positive direction.
Magic of words
Your word is not merely a word, but how you speak to yourself and others. Your word is how you create your world and reality.
Using your word has power, a power that goes back to the creation of The Universe. According to the Bible, John 1:1 (KJV):
In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.
Since we are all created in God’s image, and we are all part of the connected universe, we are blessed with this same power of creation over our own lives. We are continually creating and recreating our world around us with the words we use.
- If we are always negative, the world around us takes on an unfavorable view.
- If we are positive in our lives, the universe rewards us with the positivity we seek.
Your word is the way you use words to speak to yourself and others. Using language is how we express our intentions to the universe and to ourselves and those around us. Your word is what you use to infuse whatever language you speak with the power of creation, or destruction.
Ruiz calls this gift we all possess magic. Of course, there are two different kinds of magic.
Think of it like Harry Potter and Voldermort. Both have magic inside of them, but how they use the magic is entirely different. Voldermort uses his magic to harm and kill others, while Harry uses his magic to defend himself and those around him.
To be impeccable with your word is to use your word to create love and happiness in yourself first, and then this will spread out to those around you.
If for instance, you go around telling yourself you are stupid and can’t do anything right, you take that negativity out into the world and spread it around to others.
How can people respect you if you do not respect yourself? They can’t, no matter how hard you try to get them to.
Who you are right now is a miracle in itself. If you think of the time that has passed in The Universe to create you right at this moment, that is amazing.
To not use the magic of our words to create a beautiful world for ourselves is indeed a sin against ourselves.
We must use the self-narrative we all have in our heads to build a world we want to see. It starts with yourself, no one else can do it for you.
Just think of all the power behind the words, “We the people of the United States of America…” in the US constitution. The ability to create an entire country is embodied in these words.
Or Martin Luther King saying, “I have a dream today…” in a speech in 1963. He created an image in people’s minds that a better world was possible.
All these words had the power to create. Not only for those that spoke them but for the rest of the world as well.
Words have power, and we must use them wisely. This is what being impeccable with your word means.
What happens when you are not being impeccable with your word?
The world is being harmed by the misuse of the word. We harm ourselves, and we harm others by the way in which we use our word and use our words to hurt other people.
Just imagine for a minute, that there is one person who doesn’t like another person for a made-up reason.
This person uses a word in their mind that is derogatory towards the other one. The word created hatred in this person, so much hate he had to go and spread his word to other people.
By twisting the word and its meaning in their mind, this person spread this hatred for someone to others. They took their dislike of one person and turned it into hate for a group of people.
This hatred grew and grew, it became so large it eventually affected the entire world. Millions of people suffered and died. All because this one person used the word for evil. This person was, of course, Hitler.
As humans, we have found so many ways in which to separate ourselves from others. Creating division and hatred over the color of our skin or political beliefs or gender. We use this black magic of words to harm ourselves and others.
We may not even realize the harm we are creating in someone else by the misuse of the words we use. Ruiz gives numerous examples of how we can create damage in others by the unintentional misuse of our word.
I’m sure you can think of hundreds of examples just from childhood that you have carried with you into adulthood. Whether that was from other kids being mean to you by calling you names on the playground, or from a parent or other adult making an off-hand comment to you.
Maybe it was an Aunt telling you that you looked chubby as a kid.
I remember one time my Uncle told me I looked stupid when I cried and “real men” don’t cry. That was almost 40 years ago, and yet every time I cry to this day, I worry I look stupid.
I’m sure he didn’t mean to create this feeling in me 40 years later. It just goes to show the power our words have to create beauty in the world or to cause harm.
Ruiz uses the example of a computer virus.
It is only a small piece of code in the programming of a computer. But this little piece of code can cause lasting harm to the running of the entire system. If we picture each time we are hurt by someone else’s word as a new virus, our systems or our minds are clogged with so much noise, we can hardly think straight!
This poisonous virus is what Toltecs called the mitote, the chaos of a thousand different voices all trying to talk at once in the mind.
How to be Impeccable with your Word
First of all, you have to want to accept the first agreement with yourself. It sounds easy, but it is hard.
We all have had years of living with the negative consequences of our own word being used against us by ourselves, the negative voice in our heads saying we are not good enough. And carrying the pain of other people’s words, we have carried for years.
Second, you have to change the narrative that is playing in your head. Stop saying you are stupid, or you can’t do something. Stop blaming yourself and start loving the person you are so you can create a better happier person for the future.
You have to clear your mind of all the negativity that has built over the years and replace it with a place fertile for the ideas that you are good enough, you are beautiful, you are enough.
Starting with yourself will help you in dealing with others. You will no longer feel you have to believe the poison they are trying to give you. You will no longer accept the false narrative about yourself they are trying to give you.
Finally, you will be able to see the words they are trying so hard to get you to believe about yourself, are really just their own insecurities showing through.
Once you can do this, you can start spreading your white magic around, you can use your word to help heal others and get them on the path to believing in themselves again.
In Conclusion – Will this process be easy?
Will this process be easy? Probably not. We have spent years upon years filling our heads and hearts with noise. It may take a while to clear all the negative away.
The key will be not falling back into your old ways when you fail to be impeccable with your word. When you fail, and you will fail sometimes, don’t beat yourself up over it, don’t let the negative self-talk pull you back down. Admit you made a mistake, take responsibility for it, and try again.
As long as you are moving forward, you have not failed.
Be impeccable with your word.