This first week of Spirituality Month, I have been focusing on the agreement, “Be impeccable with your word.”
It’s a tall order. Words have a tendency to flow from my mouth without waiting for my brain. I say things that sound funny in my head, but are actually kind of mean.
This week, I especially slipped up when I had to take my daughter to the ER. We exchanged some words that were not the most impeccable, and afterward, I didn’t feel good. Not only was I not impeccable with my word, I raised my voice and lost control.
Two of the worst things you can do with your kids.
When I was working in the corporate world, I had a printout of a little poem stuck on my bulletin board.
It goes like this:
Growing Children’s Needs
Children are as fragile
As the petals of a rose.
Their need for love and guidance
Will go on each year they grow.
Walk lightly through the flowers
Making certain they have room,
For if you over crowd or step on them
You may never see them bloom.
Nurture them with kindness
As you see to all their needs.
Treat children as you would a plant
You’ve started from a seed.
The fruit of all your labor
Will be sweet and bring you price,
For guidance builds good children
When it’s tenderly applied.
I often think about that verse about treating children as you would a plant. I try to pay attention to words that hurt and words that bring joy. And speak more of the latter and fewer of the former.
In the book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz speaks of a tired mother who one evening tells her happy child to stop singing. The mother tells her daughter that her voice is ugly. The girl never sings again. Those words destroyed the joy in her life.
This is perhaps an extreme example, but the truth is that words are powerful. Words can make things good or ruin a great moment.
I must continue to try to be impeccable with my words, because I am not there yet. I make snide remarks. I use a harsh tone. I criticize.
There’s no need for all that. Kind, gentle words are sufficient.
I’m working on it.