Be impeccable in your word
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best.
Don Miguel Ruiz
In yesterday’s post, I made a passing reference to Don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements. Is there ever a time when they are not needed? Has there ever been a time when it was easy to practice them?
In these dark days, we know we are not hearing one another. In any conversation, who will put assumptions aside in favor of thoughtful discourse?
I focus on word choice, aiming for impeccable. I don’t always reach that level. Still, I remind myself that in equanimity there are no enemies. My heart remains open rather than shut tight. I only need a sliver of light.
What I’m saying sounds far-fetched, perhaps impractical. Yet, the few times that I have stood in mindfulness—trusted it–drama was left without a stage on which to play. I fueled no fires.
It has happened enough to reinforce my practice of the Four Agreements, especially on those days when my skin is too thin, and I react rather than respond.
One mistake need not necessitate another, so I am more thoughtful in my word choice. At the very least, it changes up the pace of the conversation or social media commentary.
My recent blog post on childhood and its innocence sparked a comment full of hate, truly vitriolic. The words were so raw I could not take them personally. Neither, could I decipher the reader’s meaning.
It is the kind of spew I see far too often on social media. It does not deserve a response, ever. That said, such hate has always been part of the human experience. The Internet only makes it more immediate.
Our language returns to us, sometimes unrecognizable. We effect change with our word. Do we have a choice other than to be impeccable?