"...you should say what you mean" said the March Hare, "I do," Alice replied; "...at least, I mean what I say..."
Did I really mean what I said to my friend? Or was I just being mean? I didn't mean to upset her, so why did I say that to her? I was out of order. I was taught that if I haven't got anything nice to say, I just shouldn't say anything, and I don't gossip, but I do often have strong views and on occasions my mouth runs away from my brain.
Some great words of advice from Don Miguel Ruiz in his book "The Four Agreements".
Agreement number one.
Be impeccable with your word:
- 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.
In me there is an element of confusion though between the advisability of speaking up (speaking ones mind) and not speaking to avoid offending. I find this difficult to resolve. Why cause offence if you don't need to? But should I dissemble just to keep the peace? Or just keep quiet? If no one is being harmed, why make a fuss? Or should one always speak up in order to not just be authentic but because there is usually more than one way of looking at things and to offer differing or similar thoughts?
Looking back at my "words" exchanged with my friend; after all just because we didn't agree, it didn't make me right or her wrong. And it doesn't mean we can't be friends. The only thing it did was to open a dialogue about something I believe in just as strongly as she holds an opposing view. And as long as I didn't belittle her thoughts (and her right to those thoughts) then that's probably ok. I think!
"Really, now you ask me ," said Alice, very confused, "I don't think..." "Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter.
Worrying about whether or not I offended her is probably a fruitless task. I know that it really doesn't or shouldn't matter what other people think of me (another of the "Four Agreements" - Don't take anything personally!) and that if she doesn't know me and appreciate me well enough to not take offence then it is probably not worth my worrying about. Ouch! That sounds so arrogant to my ears... Is life too short?
What do you think?
A Moodscope member