Recently I have been revisiting one of my favorite spiritual teachings, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, and how each one plays such a huge part in our relationships.
The Four Agreements are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. Over the next four weeks we will delve deeper into each agreement, but for this week let’s explore being impeccable with your word and relationships.
We use words to manifest, create, and as our tool for communication. Yet we all have experienced a moment where we said something to hurt another, or had a feeling of post-confrontation trauma–replaying what we could’ve or should’ve said over and over in our minds. Just as our words create, they can also destroy. How many of your relationships have suffered because un-kind words were exchanged? Every time we speak, the sounds and words we emit are energy. This energy, by law, will come back around to us full circle. So in the end, when we are not impeccable with our words, we are only hurting ourselves.
So much of who we are and how we act comes from our childhood. How we were spoken to is usually how we will go out into our lives and speak to others. How our parents treated one another is usually how we will in turn treat our partners. The way our parents spoke to us growing up is most likely how we will parent our children. From this learned behavior you made an agreement in your soul to perpetuate this behavior, but thankfully, you can make a new agreement to be something more than what was inherited. It begins with having an awareness of the power of your words, and then choosing a more loving way to communicate.
One of the greatest causes of the deterioration of any relationship is when we choose needing to be right over choosing to have peace. How many arguments can you recall where you spent the entire time trying to convince the other to concede and make you right? This happens in all areas of our lives, and not just at home. Your need to be right is really just a belief, and the thing is–the person you are trying to convince also shows up with their own beliefs. So you can see how easy it is for the breakdown of a relationship to occur. Here you are two different people, with two different perspectives, from two different upbringings, trying to convince the other person that one is superior over the other. Resentment and hurt are born from these moments, and many times become irreparable.
Rather than living your life putting your attention and energy on needing to be validated and proven right, can you shift your attention to being more loving with your words, kinder in your approach, and more willing to compromise?
Begin paying attention to the words you use, and when you notice you are not being impeccable–stop and say, “I am not being impeccable with my word.” The more you practice the better you will become at integrating this agreement into your life. Don Miguel says that when we use loving words we are creating what he calls “white magic.” It transcends and transmutes relationships when we use loving forms of communication.
Here are 3 ways you can be more impeccable with your word, and begin cultivating loving relationships…
Way 1: Commit to not gossiping or speaking unkindly about another person. Instead only use kind words when talking about others, or don’t say anything at all. Live by the motto that mom always told you:“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Way 2: Practice not needing to be right–even if you are. You may have to bite your tongue the first few times, but once you do this enough, you start to realize that it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. What matters more, is that your life remains harmonious, and that you don’t sweat the small stuff. Put your energy into more important things, and stop the struggle!
Way 3: Create new agreements. What beliefs can you let go of that are not serving you– those beliefs which you can pinpoint have hindered successful relationships in your life? Spend time creating new ones that are loving, kind, and positive so that you are creating harmony going forward. An easy place to begin is to take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of the paper. On one side write down beliefs, words, and attitudes which you display and don’t particularly like. Next, on the other side, write down the new way in which you want to be, and live your life going forward. Implement your new beliefs into your relationships and witness how much stronger your bonds become. It’s all about intention and practice.