Be Impeccable With Your Word
In one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, he writes that the #1 agreement to self and to others is: Be impeccable with your word.
The definition of impeccable means “without sin.” Impeccable comes from the Latin pecatus, which means, “sin.” The im- in impeccable means “without” so impeccable means “without sin.” Religions talk about sin and sinners. But let’s understand what it really means to sin. A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself. Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin.
Sin or going against our self is self-betrayal. Self-betrayal is the greatest pain we experience and expresses itself in many different forms. You are betraying your authentic self when you judge or blame yourself harshly or punish self. This harsh self-beat-up grows self-hate. Being without sin is exactly the opposite. Being impeccable is not going against yourself. You are impeccable when you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.
From this point of view, the whole concept of sin changes from something moral or religious to something that is commonsense.
Sin begins with rejection of yourself. Self-rejection is the biggest sin that you can commit. In religious terms, self-rejection is a “mortal sin” which leads to death. Impeccability on the other hand leads to life.
Being impeccable with your word is not using the word against yourself. If I see you in the street and I call you stupid, it appears that I’m using the word against you. But really I’m using my word against myself, because you’re going to hate me for this and your hating me is not good for me. What I am really saying is that in my own mind I am telling myself that I am stupid. Therefore, if I get angry and with my word direct all that emotional poison to you, I’m using the word against myself. The energy of those words might or might not cause you pain, but whom it is affecting is myself because I am speaking those words as if I were speaking them to myself.
Being impeccable with your word is recognizing the power of the word, and using it for good toward self. Being impeccable means to use your words and the energy of those words toward truth, love and self. When we are being impeccable with our words toward self and using our words to be kind and loving toward self, we are more likely to treat others the same way.
We use the word to create hate between different races, between different people, between families, between nations. We misuse the word so often and this misuse of the word when it is misused, places us in hell. We use the word to curse, to blame, to find guilt and to destroy. We use the word to spread our own personal poison: anger, jealousy, envy and hate. We gossip and spread the poison to others.
The word is magical. It is the most powerful gift we have as humans, and yet we end up using it against ourselves. The word can be used as a weapon or a tool for growth and development. In our humanness we create chaos with the word. We misuse the word so often, and this misuse is how we perpetuate hell.
If you make an agreement with yourself to be impeccable with your word, just with that intention, the truth of what you speak will manifest through you and has the power to clean all the emotional poison that exists within you. Let us choose to be impeccable with our word. Let us take responsibility for our word. Let us not be so hasty in projecting our opinions, fear, judgments, negativity, and self-hate onto our children, spouses, or those around us. Let us learn to speak from a place of respect toward self and others.
We can be a part of the change we want to be in the world, less violence, more loving and kind, as we continue to use the power of the word for good.
The Institute of Healing Arts