Tag Archives: shame

‘Be impeccable with your words’ – do yours matter?

Because I recently heard don Miguel Ruiz being interviewed by Phil Cartwright, I became interested in his book ‘The Four Agreements’. I then came across don Miguel Ruiz again, this time being interviewed on Oprah, and agreement no. 1 is ‘Be impeccable with your word’.

Yes. Oh yes. This is a path to happiness and delight, whereas lying rots the soul.

I still squirm inside when I recall a huge bare-faced lie I told my father many years ago after I’d been expelled from Eton. I was supposed to have no contact with any of my mates there but of course I did, and was found out. Thinking on my feet, I concocted a cock-and-bull story about how I was trying to warn them not to make the same mistakes I’d made (when in fact I was wanting them to carry on making them, and to be sure to keep including me).
Because my father loved me, he chose to believe me, and every time I heard him backing up my story, I died inside a little more. Even now I squirm, feel the tinge of shame. It was not my finest hour, he says, breathing deeply through the shame.

I now use my words with care.
The reason I am so careful now about what I say and commit to is because to me, when I say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, I feel I am committing my whole life. 100%. Nothing less. My own words put me on the line. My own line. I am my own defence and prosecution, my own judge and jury. There is nowhere for me to hide.
My words are not transitory sounds on the waffling waves of life – on my own personal timeline they represent me, ME, my energetic reality, my Truth. Indelibly. Even if everyone else has forgotten them, I still remember.
And I know ultimately there is a reckoning, my own reckoning, I need to face.

When I lie (which, yes, peeps, I have been known to do 🙂 🙂 🙂 ), when I tell a bare-faced lie, I feel ill. I feel my being going into recoil with distaste. It is an extremely unpleasant feeling, it is self-abusive and it is a toxic bomb going off in my deepest me. It is horrid, and it diminishes me, and takes a lot of breathing through. I’ve already got a shedload of lies I need to be at peace with, at Truth with.
I don’t want to make this any harder than it is already going to be.
So now I tell as few lies as possible, as seldom as possible, to myself and anyone else. This also means behaving in as Truthful a way as possible because you don’t to have to tell a lie if you don’t have anything to lie about.

So when I tell you ‘I love you’, or ‘Yes’, or ‘No’, I mean it. I am putting my whole being on the line, and I welcome you here.


Share Button

Connection – the joy and vulnerability of love.

Mariella Frostrup wrote recently that in her time as agony aunt, the same theme is as prevalent now as it was when she started – loneliness and connection. Although we appear to be separate, this separation is an illusion. It is a sufficiently powerful and seductive illusion that our ego, our personality-construct, can be lured into believing it is real and therefore create a reality in which it becomes true. We become arsey, brittle, sharp, full of ourselves when inside we’re crying out for help, for connection.

We create a self-fulfilling prison in which our love, our joy, our freedom, our spirit, all languish and suffer, desperate to be given the oxygen of love and connection but trapped within layers of self-created separation. It’s a freezing of the heart – inside, it’s warm, pulsing, loving, waiting and wanting to connect, but around it are layers of armoured prickly ice.

What does it take to thaw this ice?

The answer, of course, is love.

Love is a combination of joy and vulnerability. Love is the most vulnerable emotion because you can’t experience joy, full deep joy, without being fully deeply open. And when you’re fully open, you also expose your vulnerabilities. And that requires courage.

I used to think that my vulnerabilities were shameful, a sign of weakness, and therefore deeply unattractive – repulsive even. I used to think that if I showed that I could cry like a little boy, be small and pathetic, be hurting, somehow that meant I was unworthy of proper loving. I’d put on a brave face – ‘No, I’m fine, I’m ok’ – while inside I was crying. It took me many years and many tears to realise that not only was I not doing myself any favours, I wasn’t bringing and offering my whole heart to love.

To my surprise, I found that when I had the courage to express my own vulnerabilities, something warm got touched in the other person – and if it didn’t, the worst that happened was I experienced pain and shame. And pain and shame are just feelings, and like all feelings, they pass. They are simply clouds in the sky of love, and love’s sunshine burns them off.

There is a beauty and a self-generated strength in vulnerability. This cannot be known until experienced, but vulnerability has magic in it. If the person you share your vulnerability with is ready, it is perhaps the most effective heart-thawer possible. The sheer rawness of your vulnerability can give their heart and soul a lifeline, a way through their layers of armoured prickly ice.

There is, of course, no guarantee. There is never a guarantee. But until you’re prepared to risk all, reveal all, share all, how might the person you love get enough strength and trust to break free from their prison? To experience the deepest truth about love – that the more you give, the more you receive?

For this is the secret, the kernel of love – it doesn’t ‘take’, you don’t ‘lose’, there is no ‘price’. The secret is that the more you give the more you receive.

How to reach this place of courage and vulnerability? That is the heart of the next blog.

Share Button