In the book The Four Agreements, the author Miguel Ruiz offers a code for living a life of peace and happiness. The first principle Miguel offers in this code of conduct for your life is Be Impeccable with your Word. It is much more difficult than it seems. When I first heard this I was thinking deeply about how I use the ‘word’ on myself and others.
What does it mean to be impeccable with your word?
Here’s what we need to consider words. Words are powerful and can be painful to someone else and even more destructive to ourselves. Walking around being silent while filled with hate or self-rejection doesn’t meet the meaning of impeccability. Our Word is the force that we create with, our word includes everything we express. It includes our emotions, physical actions, thoughts, and attitude.
The emotions of jealousy, envy, frustration, and sadness fall into the category of not being impeccable. Anger and fear usually fall into the category of not being impeccable also. However, there is the exception of a real life-threatening situation where natural fight or flight fear and anger come from your emotional integrity. However, in most cases, people don’t face real life-threatening situations very often. Expressing yourself impeccably is to express your self in the direction of truth and love. This includes expressing love, respect, and acceptance of your self.
I’ve heard people say that they were speaking “their truth” about a situation and so they believed they were being impeccable. When people claim to be speaking “their truth”, they are often speaking their opinion about what they believe is right. Because they believe their opinion doesn’t mean it is the truth. To anyone else, it is just an opinion and can be filled with judgments and unpleasant emotions. When you are impeccable you don’t need to defend what you say by claiming it is impeccable. Most of the time anger and fear seem to fall into the category of not being impeccable.
Think about how you express when it comes to ‘blame’, are you using language that indicates its someone else’s fault? Careful about that, as refraining from blaming people will lead you to take total responsibility for your life.
While this may seem like a pretty big shift in our consciousness it gets bigger when we expand the meaning to include not finding fault with the world. Being impeccable means seeing the world without rejecting it for the way it is. It doesn’t mean being in denial about the way people mistreat each other. It means that you think about the way you judge or reject people. Cleaning up the judgments in our mind can seem like quite the task when we consider how easy it is to become critical of things like politics, pollution, violence, crime, neighbors, groups, religion etc,
It may take a while to empty your mind of criticisms but it’s a worthy ideal to aspire to. I keep a journal and in my journal, I write down some of my thoughts and judgments as a way of purging them and also noticing what I’m noticing! This one exercise is powerful because its a way of keeping myself in check!
I can recall working in a health food shop in Balwyn Victoria. I had just published my first book ‘Good Health Recipes From Breakfast To Tea‘. This book was stapled bound, hand illustrated by me and printed at the local Snap Printing store. It was my first book, and the only way I was promoting this book was through word of mouth. This is before using the internet, well and truly before Facebook, we are talking 1984!
So each day I was working at the store I would have a few orders ready to post off. I would take a carefully wrapped and addressed book package over the road to the post office, and the lovely gentleman behind the counter would say to me, “you are a worker Annie, one day you are going to be a millionaire, I’ve never seen someone work so hard!” I saw his comments as positive, I remember saying to him, I am already a wealthy lady, because I had discovered the secret to impeccable health, and to some degree, I understood the power of talking positively to myself, without really analyzing it.
Those words, that man spoke to me circled around my brain and in many ways helped to drive me to do what I had to do in order to create, write and self-publish my books. Imagine if he had said something like this…“Geeze Annie, your books suck, you are never going to amount to anything if you think that staple-bound books printed at the local print shop are going to get you there!” A comment like that could of shattered me, but fortunately, his comment to me was positive, uplifting and spurred me on.
Think about the words that have been spoken to you and how they have either driven you to succeed or shut you down. If you feel hurt it is because you believed some part of the idea that you are stupid. When you express even a tiny bit of your faith in that opinion of stupidity you are expressing your faith in a self-rejection. Your faith is a powerful part of your Word. Expressing your Word in a manner of self-rejection is how we take something personally.
Being impeccable with your Word is about being truthful, honest, and kind. It is very simple, but not necessarily easy. We have learned many habits over the years that condition us to use our emotional and verbal expressions in unkind ways. Just the way that we talk to ourselves in our own mind can be so unpleasant.
To keep this one simple agreement to be impeccable with your Word will require some discipline and time to practice and master. Don’t assume that you will master it in your lifetime. At the same time, don’t assume that you won’t.
Just know that every day that you become more impeccable with your ‘Word’ you will have more love, joy, and happiness in your life and relationships.
You may be wondering what the Four Agreements are, here they are:
Be Impeccable with your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
I’m proud to share with you that we will be going over these Agreements at the Lifestyle Reset Retreat, which will take place in Eumundi at JB’s Conference on the 7th and 8th September. Details on this event will be released soon.