“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.” —Don Miguel Ruiz
What a powerful insight this wise master invites us to ponder. Have you ever considered the power of the words you speak? Did you know you create and destroy with words? Words are powerful energy and convey great meaning and feeling to others. They define us and reflect who we are and what we are about. They can uplift or condemn, affirm or judge, reward or punish. They can inspire us or deflate us. They can offer praise or place blame and once spoken leave us feeling uplifted and inspired or guilty and filled with shame. Think about this when you speak to your child, your spouse, your coworker, a friend or family member.
How we use our words can be like a double edge sword. On one edge of the sword are words that can be harmful, hateful and hurtful and on the other edge, there is integrity and magic. In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz discusses the need for having Integrity with your word. What does this mean? Wikipedia defines integrity as follows:
“Integrity is the qualification of being honest and having strong moral principles or moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy, in that judging with the standards of integrity involves regarding internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding within themselves apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs. ….qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs, and principles they claim to hold.”
The Latin word impecatus, from which impeccable is derived, translates to “without sin.” Ruiz suggests that when we speak in less than the highest choice and in less than truthful terms, we go against our self, thus we sin. His advice is to say only what you truly mean. Let’s explore what he means by that and Dr. Seuss provides some guidance for us.
When we are in integrity with our word, Dr. Seuss says, “We say what we mean, and we mean what we say.” It is seeing our words as poison and toxic or magical and uplifting and choosing accordingly. When we have integrity with our word, we speak only what is fact and true. We do not work to persuade or defend our viewpoint, as we recognize that it is just that, one person’s point of view. We stop engaging in idle gossip, as we realize that in talking about others, we are contributing to the spread of toxicity. We think before we speak, realizing that our words have the power to harm, usually someone we love. We do not bully, condemn, judge and criticize others. We do not lie. When we are in integrity with our word, we speak only in the direction of truth and love.
The world is reflecting back to us the quality of consciousness of humanity. Turn on the news or read the paper and you can readily and unfortunately see examples of this. While we cannot change what is out there, we can change how we show up. When we do this, it will definitely change what we attract. If enough of us join the effort, we can create the tipping point that changes out there.
Decades ago I received the poem on the left as a gift. It inspired me to bring consciousness to not only my words, but also my tone of voice in speaking those words. When reading it, please consider not only the child but your inner child, now an adult, and open to understanding what that little one was taught. I love this poem. I believe it truly captures the essence that what we say shapes a message that translates to another messages that can alter their reality about themselves. As Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Let’s make the commitment to be in integrity with our word. Let’s decide to think before we speak. Let’s ask ourselves 3 questions that can alter the words that come out of our mouth:
Is it true? Do they need to know this? Will it hurt?
I believe that our life, our health, and our relationships will improve when we take responsibility for what we say.
Pat Krajovic, Pat and her husband Dave own the award-winning Bodyworks Healing Center and the Global Breath Institute. They created Ascension Breathwork which leads others to gain mental clarity, calm emotional turmoil, restore personal power, find inner peace and live an extraordinary life. Available for private sessions, group programs, and speaking engagements. 734-416-5200