The First Agreement – Be Impeccable With Your Word
Through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. – don Miguel Ruiz
I've decided to break this first agreement into two posts because it's long and concept heavy. In this post I'm talking about exactly what "Your Word" is and in the next post, I'll be talking about "Impeccability" and putting the two concepts together.
The Power of the Word
According to don Miguel Ruiz, being impeccable with your word is the most difficult of all of the agreements to keep. At first glance this may look something like – “keep your promises,” but in reality it’s so much more – it’s so much broader and richer than just that.
Let’s begin with exactly what “your word” is. Ruiz says that your word is “the power that you have to create” and through the word you express your creative power. Being impeccable with your word creates beauty and love and “heaven on earth.” And if you misuse your word, you can create a living hell.
The word is the tool of magic. Or hell. It’s really that simple.
Here is an example of someone that wasn’t impeccable with his word – Hilter. Hitler used his word to spread fear and hate – He made fearful and hateful agreements with all of his followers.
Here is an example of someone that was impeccable with his word – Jesus. Jesus spread agreements of love and compassion. He used his word to sow love.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book, “The human mind is like fertile ground where seeds are continually being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas and concepts. You plant a seed, a thought and it grows. The word is like a seed…”
The problem is that the mind is also fertile ground for fear. Your mind is fertile for whatever it was prepared for. The key is to prepare it for love – to receive seeds of love.
The Magic of Your Word
Like I said previously, your word is magic – you can use it to put a spell on someone or release them from a spell. You use it share your opinions – like, “Wow, you really look like crap today! What’s wrong with you?” Maybe nothing was wrong, but now that person – IF THEY DECIDE TO MAKE THE AGREEMENT WITH YOU – might begin to feel tired, or like there is something wrong with them. Have you ever had this happen? I experience this frequently with a friend. If I tell him that something went wrong with my day he might say something like, “I’m really sorry you had such an awful day.” I may not have had an awful day AT ALL, and I have to strive not to make that agreement with him. I have to say, “No, I didn’t have an awful day at all, there was just that one thing that happened.” Other times though, I have felt myself sag and say, “Yeah, it is too bad.” I’ve made the agreement that I had an awful day and I begin to feel awful. And please don’t get me wrong. He truly believes he’s being supportive. He doesn’t get the power of his word. The magic spell that he’s weaving with his words. And I have to be so conscious NOT to make that kind of agreement with him.
Think about our ancestors and what it was like to be a part of a clan – say a cave dwelling people. To be safe and to thrive you had to stick together – they hunted and gathered together and for each other. To be put out of the clan was to die. You would have had no one to watch your back, to feed you, to clothe you, to see to your basic needs.
It is in our DNA to need the safety of a clan, a family, or a group of friends.
During our period of Domestication our parents and friends freely shared their opinions about the world and about us, and we began to live in fear of not keeping those agreements for fear of being cast aside – of being cast out of the clan. We knew instinctively at a young age that we needed the safety of being a member of the clan. So we made agreements and tried with all of our might and energy to keep the agreements of those in our clan.
I’ll use an example from my last post – my brother told me that my neck wasn’t long enough for me to be a model, with which I agreed – I actually have quite a short neck! The other tacit and unconscious agreements that I made based on his word were that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty (because models are and no one else can be), that I was not photogenic (see previous) and that I would never get a boyfriend because I wasn’t pretty enough to attract one. I was young when I made all of those agreements. And I believed them all and carried them with me for a very long time. I agreed in large part because I wanted my brother to love me. I needed very much to be a part of his clan – for safety.
Then someone came along and used their word to let me know that they thought I was beautiful. One person using their word may not be enough to completely break the magic spell, but it is a beginning to make you begin to question the agreement you made. It did me. I started to see myself differently and through a different lens – one of beauty. I began to question the agreements that I made with my brother and I began to make new ones with myself based on new evidence and beliefs that I grew to hold about myserf.
And it may very well be that ONE WORD IS ENOUGH TO BREAK THE SPELL! That’s the best of all possible situations.
Stay tuned for next week's post, Part 2 of the First Agreement, which is all about being Impeccable and then tying it all up with Impeccability and Your Word.
P.S. I’m going to be hosting a free webinar/jam session specifically relating these Agreements and Thriving Through the Holidays. it's tentatively scheduled for November 17 at noon PDT! If you’re not on my email list, sign up for that over there in the right hand column and you’ll get all the details as they become available. You’ll also get a very useful coaching tool about finding Grace in your life in exchange for signing up!!!