Quote of the Day: “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. ” Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Reflection: As Ruiz says, words are powerful, and can be remembered for a long time after they are said.

Many of us might have used words as a weapon to release our own anger, hurt or sadness. Perhaps we have been subjected to others’ hurtful words and still carry that critical voice inside our own minds (and hearts). Harsh words are painful and keep us stuck in negativity and darkness. However, when we speak with integrity and intention to ourselves and to others we can grow, as Ruiz says “in the direction of truth and love.” We can practice having compassionate conversations with others by treating them with respect and dignity, which promotes our own respect and dignity. Before you say anything ask yourself: “is it kind?” “Is it truthful?” “Is it helpful?” “Is it necessary?”

Sometimes, we might lash out in pain and when we do it’s important to also practice self-forgiveness. Real guilt is a useful tool and can be used to help us change. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to say, “I’m sorry,” and try again. 

We can also practice mindful speaking to ourselves.

What’s the voice inside your head telling you? Is it in the direction of truth and love? Is it encouraging or discouraging? Catch the thoughts before they become actions. Remember, a thought is a thought and can be changed. Today and every day let’s be mindful of the words we are using to communicate within ourselves and to others. Let’s speak with loving-kindness.

Sofia Reddy, LICSW
New Leaf Mediation Instructor
Founder of Sofia's Sanctuary

Sofia Reddy, LICSW, is a full time clinical social worker and adjunct assistant professor for MSW students learning to work with Veterans and their families. As a therapist she teaches clients who have experienced both civilian and military traumas how to manage their recovery with mindful self-care. Sofia has been practicing mindfulness and meditation for the last 5 years and is passionate about bringing this practice to others. Learn more by visiting her blog or her facebook page.