Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
If it is not truthful and not helpful, don’t say it.
If it is truthful and not helpful, don’t say it.
If it is not truthful and helpful, don’t say it.
If it is truthful and helpful, wait for the right time.
Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is this the right time? These are the Four Gates of Speech. If our words get caught on any of these gates, we have to take an honest look at our deepest and truest intention for speaking them. If we find ourselves gossiping; why do we need to talk about someone that isn’t present? If we give false compliments; why did we have to say anything at all? If we criticize or correct someone; what’s that about? If we feel the need to prove ourselves right; why do we need the other person to see how wrong they are?
These questions aren’t easy. And the questions aren’t easy because the answers are even tougher! Looking at our reasons and intentions for what we say is like doing deep cleaning of the speech closets. No telling what you’ll find lurking there.
Our speech often flows without boundaries or consideration. We defend what we say by saying “I just needed to get it out. I’m just brutally honest. Someone had to tell them. I was just saying what I heard from someone else.”
These excuses are just that – excuses. We attempt to excuse ourselves from being “impeccable with our word,” as Don Miguel Ruiz terms it in his book The Four Agreements. But the freedom that comes with cleaning out the speech-closet is comparable to having all the closets in your house free of junk, clutter and useless stuff! You’re never left wondering what’s going to tumble out that you’ll then have to spend time and energy cleaning up.
So as you go through this week, ask yourself, “What is the intention behind what I’m saying?” Be brave. Look deeply. And know that cleaning your closets is a good thing.
Wishing you clean closets, and the freedom of less to clean up,