People talk. Some people talk incessantly. You might be one of these people if those around you never seem to have a lot to say. It’s because you are saying too much. And about what really? People take the power they have in creating the words they use for granted. Words are forceful. They are powerful. Hitler understood the power of word. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood the power of word.
I’ve mentioned The Four Agreements in a previous blog and will again in this one because these beliefs are ones that we should all adhere to. The agreements are guiding principles that I am striving for in my life. Being Impeccable With Your Word is one of these agreements. It is about speaking with integrity, saying what you mean, not speaking evil about yourself or gossiping about others. Overall, it is about using your word in the direction of truth and love. So easy to write and say; so difficult to practice.
Even more difficult at times, is witnessing or being victimized by someone not practicing this belief. So what do you do when others are not impeccable with their word? It is a question I have asked repeatedly. Some of my closest friends and family have used the power of their word against me in this past year, during a time in which I have experienced significant refinements in my life. Whether they were consciously aware of their actions or simply talking incessantly, I will never know and have become resolved around the fact that it doesn’t matter anymore. I have used these opportunities to create guidelines and peace in my life and hope by sharing, it might help you as well:
#1- Get angry with an agenda! Don’t get angry, but if you do, let it give you purpose. Straight-up anger doesn’t help anything. It does lead to even more negative thoughts of revenge, jealousy, rage and disgust. The purpose of anger is to alert us to danger and typically produces the flight or fight response. Anger is meant to protect us from harm. So use your anger to be alerted and then…
#2- Do something. Do something positive – something that furthers your life goals and meets your needs, but is accomplished with integrity. Correct what was spoken incorrectly. Address the individual directly with what was said and explain the impact. Make the decision to do nothing and let it pass. Make the decision to use that energy to a good purpose. I ran almost 6 miles one day fueled by anger alone and I felt brilliant again once accomplished!
#3- Don’t talk so much to begin with. I am often an open book when it comes to revealing my life to others. If I decide to share information with others, I should not expect that that is where it will rest. The book, “The Prophet” (Kahlil Gibran) discloses to us, “If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” I cannot break the power of wind or slow its’ blow; nor can I kill the trees. Stop the opportunity at its source – you! Don’t give power to others to use your own word in a negative way. Speak of yourself and of others with truth and love, which leads us to…
#4 – Love yourself. If you really love yourself –and by love I mean that you are invested in your own soul, then only express that love in your day to day interactions with yourself and others. It disallows the opportunity for your word to be used incorrectly or against you. It promotes love to others which is a reflection of the love of your own self and brings positive emotion to the world, which we all need more of.
#5 Let people leave you. During a recent Bahamas vacation, my mother paid a beach vendor $10 just to leave us alone. While funny at the time, it made me reflect on all the people in my life I would gladly pay to leave me alone. I believe that one of the greatest gifts someone has ever given me was walking away. When you are not being treated with love and respect only suffering continues. I find this especially difficult with family, but the reality is this: we are all humans and capable of treating each other like shit. Family may deserve a higher tolerance level, but at the end of the day, you must love yourself enough to end needless suffering, no matter who it is causing you the pain.
#6 Finally, remember that what others say is a projection of their own reality. Reality – we all have one of our own and every action we take is born and raised from within our own reality and what we believe to be true. You cannot change another person’s reality and only rarely can you influence it. When people talk, it is a reflection of their own thoughts. If you can accept this, then you will be able to not take it personally, because it was never about you to begin with.
So that’s it, six “simple” (ha ha) ways to avoid/diffuse the impact when people are not impeccable with their word. Again, I strive for these things…and continue to learn and refine myself along the way.
What do you think? What works for you? What do you do? What will you do?