Once we get beyond our Refusal of the Call to be the heroes of our own adventures and get back on the Unbroken Path, it helps to make certain agreements in order to remain resolute in our endeavor. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements based on Toltec wisdom, followed up with a collaboration with his son, don Jose Ruiz, The Fifth Agreement. The First Agreement, Be Impeccable With Your Word, not only means to do what you say you are going to do and have integrity between your words and action, but also speaks to how we use our words. It is the realization that there is actually little truth to the children’s’ rhyme stating that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ This phrase is often used as a playground defense mechanism, but usually by the time it is uttered, the damage has already been done.
Our words do, in fact, have great power. They can hurt and they can also heal. Being impeccable with your word means to not say anything slanderous, mean-spirited, or negatively charged about anyone, including yourself. I can testify personally that the ramifications of speaking about yourself in negative ways, saying that you are not good enough, incapable, or a screw up, can have extremely detrimental effects on the actuality of your life. These ideas that we entertain about ourselves and others, when given voice, even the voice in your head, have the ability to create that reality. Even biblically speaking, “In the beginning was the Word.”
The First Agreement challenges us to be conscious of the words we use and the thoughts we entertain for they are the building blocks for the rest of our lives. Even when said in jest or sarcasm, our words have a profound effect on the life growing around us. Be serious about what you speak into existence and be resolute with how you act on what you say. For what you say often does dictate how you act and how others act around you. When we are impeccable with our words, we take an immense step forward in realizing the power that we have to create the lives we want.
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at The Unbroken Path and is currently involved in starting the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.