I recently read the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It reminded me how important it is to be mindful with our words. Our choice of words can create joy or pain for others and ourselves. I wish I had read this book before my children were born.
Our words have impact. Think about how often we raise our voices to our children and blurt out something we really don’t mean just because we are having a bad day or aren’t feeling well. It’s not until sometimes years later that we discover the harm our words caused. Children take everything we say to heart because we are their parents.
I wouldn’t want to say something to my child that was harsh or cruel and later find out they incorporated my statement into their own belief system. For example, when parents tell their child they aren’t good at something, or label them as slobs, lazy, or shy, chances are the child will believe that to be who they are. Choosing words that express support instead of judgment will have a greater positive impact in the long run.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to change and I’m grateful I have this day forward to speak in a way that is more heart-centered and less fear-based. One way to be more conscious of your words is to simply think before you speak: Is what you are going to say coming from your heart, or is it a byproduct of fear and anger?
Don’t be so quick to react and blurt out the first words that come to mind. Pause before you respond. Evaluate your words, and think about where they are coming from. And practice, practice, practice. The old saying is true: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”