Welcome! In my last article I mentioned I’d be doing a series on the agreement Don Miguel Ruiz challenges us to make with ourselves,
“Be impeccable with your word!– Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of Truth and Love.”
The first one was on Negative Self Talk
This time around, instead of looking at the negative effect the word can have on my self, I’m diving into the power my word.
The power of my word
By now, if you are following this blog, you know I like to break things down and start looking at them, so let’s look at this simply from a perspective of the spoken word and the effect it has on other human beings.
For years, I’ve been listening to therapists, spiritual leaders, and others who tell me that I can only change myself, that my thoughts, feelings, actions, and attitudes are completely my own responsibility, and while I might want others to be in my direct or even indirect control, they are not. Each of you, and all the other people, have the same level of individual power and authority over your own reality.
It is said that “there are no victims”. If this is the case, why would Don Miguel Ruiz instruct us in this regard? Why is it so hard to follow his challenging agreement? Why am I so often obsessed with what other people say and do? Why do I give such power to their words? What is this thing called “word” and why does it feel so powerful in my life and in the lives of everyone I know? Why does making this agreement feel so right?
If we cannot change each other through words, why are they so powerful?
They are powerful because we give them power. The power of my word is the same as the power of your word. We give it to each other; not in the absolute sense, but in a very real way. By agreement, we choose who, and which words, we will allow to have power over us.
For example, if I give you an F on a report card, if I disregard your comment and simply ignore you, if I do any of a thousand things you might find apprehensive, loving, kind, irreverent, irritating, or good, and that has an effect on you, it is by choice.
The simple truth is that power in our word comes from the choices of others.
So why don’t we just turn it off, turn off all this trust? We have been doing this for a long time, and yet we still give this power to each other. Why? Didn’t our ancestors learn this lesson? Why are we still subject to the words of others?
Two reasons have come to me:
- I want to create with you. My entire soul and being are here in this body to create. Shared creation and manifestation of our hopes, dreams, goals, and word are so sweet a purpose that I would gladly give power to your word to do this life together.
- I cannot find truth simply by analysis, or thinking my way through things. I must first have inspiration, guidance, or enlightenment. The presence of God must be allowed through into my thinking to reveal to the truth to me. From there, I can follow the light of truth. God is revealed to me often by the word of others.
So be kind and do not gossip; speak the truth and communicate with love.
This seems obvious. Why is this so hard? Why is it that I cannot avoid gossiping at work? Why do I take offense at the words of others? Why am I not kind and forgiving in all the ways and days of my life?
It is because I am afraid, living from the past, and fearing the future. The mandate from Don Miguel Ruiz is to live in the now, from love. Forgive, have compassion, and express love.
I must let go my fears and live from love; only my best can come from love.
From this, I can find truths I can base my behavior and attitudes on:
- My influence over others comes by agreement. I will not misuse the trust others grant to me by being fearful, and therefore hurtful to them. I will instead speak from love.
- I allow others to have influence over me by agreement. I will not take it personally when others speak ill of me, my ideas, my beliefs, my concepts, or my way. I will entrust that the part of them that is negative is simply afraid, and I will not contribute to their fearful world by retaliating against them. I will listen with a filter on their words so as not to give power to negativity.
- I will not burden my life by seeking out and agreeing with things that are negative. I will redirect my energy to what is positive and speak from love. I will lovingly guide myself away from my fearful tendency to share in negative stories.
- I will remember that I am connected to my spirit which is connected to God, which is the the source energy for us all. Thus, through my spirit, I am connected to everyone. I will use my word in support of everyone, which is myself.
- I am human and perfection is not my goal. My goal is forgiveness and kindness and caring and compassion and love. I will not focus on my failures or cast aspersions because of my missteps, nor will I attempt to justify my missteps by continuing to act as if they are good.
I will use the power of my word in this way, because when I seek to obtain what I desire by deception, dominance, and superiority over others, I am choosing to live in fear and negativity, which destroys the very joy and happiness I seek so desperately.
I hope all of you are doing extremely awesome. May God bless and keep you as you work through this lifetime. I am on your side. With great love and admiration for all you are, I wish you joy in everything you do.
Continue with the series?
- A Selfish Life Context
- Shared spiritual practices
- The power of the Dark Side (Darth Vader’s Primer on the Lack of Faith)