Smart Is Sexy – the Aerial Dance book club is reading “The Four Agreements” by Ruiz this month. I LOVE this book. As the curator for book club I’ve wanted to bring this book to the group for a while and I’m very much looking forward to our discussion on March 7.
This book is in my “top 5” meaning I re-read it once a quarter. Yes, I read this book four times every year and have been for the past two years. What gets me is that no matter how many times I read it, something knew smacks me across the face and blows my mind. There have been a few of those moments this time around, but one that really hit me was when he speaks about the first agreement:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
In past readings this was always a “duh, don’t lie” type meaning for me. But this time I’m realizing how much more this is. It isn’t about the big, though that is important too; this first agreement is actually about the little. We tell white lies all the time, little things that are supposed to make society run smoother and the world kinder, but the truth is they just distance us and create less deep connections. Only being 100% truthful in your word choice can bring you closer, both to those around you and within you.
During covid I made the decision to not tell white lies and be honest when I didn’t want to do something. Which was uncomfortable! When I would be speaking to a friend who had a different opinion on if we could go to a restaurant instead of saying “I’m busy” or some excuse white lie I said “I am not comfortable at this time in a restaurant, what other options can we come up with the allow us more physical distance.” Not once did a friend make fun of me, instead she helped me adjust our plans to something I was comfortable with. This strengthened our bond. And that is one of the ways that being impeccable with your word is so powerful. The day you stop telling white lies and instead tell those you interact with part of your truth you become closer.
The other person I realized I need to stop telling half truths to was myself. Every time I said I was “ok” or “fine” when I wasn’t was, in fact, a lie. So I stopped. When asked how I am, if it is a day that I’m not in fact “fine” I now say a version of the truth. Something like “I’m having a rough day today but it will get better”. Because that is honest. Depending on the person I may say more, like why it is a rough day, but not everyone gets to have that information. Being impeccable with your word means not saying something that isn’t true, it doesn’t mean sharing your truths to people you don’t trust or over sharing everything. But there is so much space between a white lie and the truth and the more I am truthful with my word choices the more my soul feels heard. I feel so much better being honest about my day then saying “ok” when I’m not. Saying that white lie just makes me feel alone and isolated; saying a version of how I really am makes me feel seen. How I feel matters. Being honest with how I feel instead of being “white lie polite” gives all my feelings space and validity. What I choose to say dramatically impacts how my feelings feel and how I feel about my own worthiness.