The tongue is like a sharp knife; it kills without drawing blood. - Buddha
Have you ever said something you later regretted? Are you human?
This week's proverb reminds us of the devastating impact negative statements can have on those around us and ourselves.
We have all let something roll off our tongue before carefully considering the impact of our words. Once it has been said, it can not be retracted. Depending on the severity of what has been said, it can remain in the minds of others for a lifetime. It can be the root of divorce, the cause of anxiety, the reason why someone may turn to destructive behavior or worse.
Sticks and stones may break bones but contrary to the childhood sentiment, words can and do hurt. What you say and how you say it matters. This goes for how you speak to yourself as well as others. Counter your own self-destructive judgments as soon as they arise in your mind.
This week, challenge yourself to purposefully pause for just one breath before saying anything. Use this moment to ask yourself the following:
Will what I say empower this person? Could what I say harm this person? Am I speaking from a place of ego or truth? Is not saying anything a better alternative right now?
As Don Miguel Ruiz says in his profound book The 4 Agreements, "Be impeccable with your words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love."
Never forget that YOU have the power to enhance or destroy. Choose wisely.
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