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Posts Tagged ‘Don Miguel Ruiz’

 

 

The holidays are in full swing, Christmas is just days away, the garland on my front gate has been proudly swaying for the past two weeks now and is already beginning to brown a little around the edges, cards have been sent and recieved, and packages are waiting to be wrapped. Everything is seemingly in order, I am neither panicked about finishing up the last few details, nor am I overly joyous…I am simply reflective.

There is much grief, chaos and confusion, in our world today. Right here in our own country, 26 innocent people were gunned down in cold blood, in an environment that is supposed to be safe and nurturing. What an unspeakable tragedy. It rocked our nation.  And let us not discount the life of the mother who was also murdered at the hands of her own son.  As  we begin to uncurl ourselves from the fetal position of sadness…the words begin to flow. Issues like gun control and mental health are now forced into the uncomfortable spotlight. Conversations about the lingering effects of violent video games are finally being heard.  How could we have been better prepared to anticipate such devastation? 

When my children were little, we would often find ourselves saying to them, “use your words”. Use your words to solve the problem,  don’t hit your sister or brother, find the words to express what it is that you are feeling and use them constructively.  

Such simple advice…right?

In a landmark decision, Sesame Street has decided to introduce a new character who is a “child of divorce”. Some would argue that it is long overdue. It seems they have been reluctant to tackle this topic because of the very difficult emotional nature of divorce. Given the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is about time we find ways to communicate about it in open and honest dialogue. Children should not feel stigmatized amongst their otherwise “intact” peer groups. My daughter came home from school the other day and actually commended me on our “divorce” circumstances. Her observation was that some of her friends who were also children of divorce, had it much worse than she did. You see…her entire peer group is now comprised of other kids who have experienced divorce. I can remember a time not too long ago when she was the odd one in a sea of “nuclear, intact families”. What’s changed? Maybe the level of conversation?

We have got to stop hiding our heads in shame. We have a huge responsibility to ourselves and to each other to be honest, about ourselves and our lives, our fears, our hopes. We share one planet…just one. We are one family. We are God’s children, all of us.

Don Miguel Ruiz, writes: Be Impeccable with Your Word

“It is through the word that you manifest everything. What you dream, what you feel, what you really are will all be manifested through the word. Seeing the awesome power of the word, we must understand what power comes out of our mouth”.

We have the power and the responsibility to each other, to use our precious words wisely. To communicate our fears without worrying about the fallout, the judgement of others. To solve problems constructively without violence. To agree…to disagree.

The mother in Connecticut was simply that…a mother. A mother who perhaps was afraid to be  honest  about the mental instability of her own son. A mother who was trying to manage the fragile nature of being a “divorced’ woman, while managing a difficult child. Maybe she kept all of these fears locked away in the closet…right next to the guns she used to chase them away.

I am also a mother. I have  been through a difficult and painful divorce. I have two children…one of which is a young adult male. I have always had a lifelong fear of guns…and in my attempt to conquer all of my fears I have recently taken up the sport of target practice, using both pistols and rifles. I have been given careful instruction on how to use them, and I have the utmost respect for what a gun can do.

I am also a mother…and cannot imagine what it would be like to spend the holidays grieving for the loss of my precious child. I cannot imagine what it would be like to spend a lifetime with the memory of knowing that their tiny defenseless life had been taken so violently. These are times when words mean nothing…

It is profoundly apparent to me now how important it is for us to “use our words”, for healing, for strength, for understanding, for acceptance.  It is no coincidence that their are 26 letters in our alphabet. 26 of our own precious angels in heaven, guiding us through the turbulent waters here on earth. Now more than ever, use your words…

your … precious … precious … words.

 

 

 

 

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 We have come a long way from the days of smoke signals, carrier pigeons, and the Pony Express. Today we can communicate by texting, e-mail, twitter, skype or webcam. Celebrities with twitter accounts can share  with thousands of fans in an instant, mundane details about their ordinary days.  (As if…I really wanted to know what Kim Kardashian was eating for lunch.)  We have taken the very fundamental need to  improve  our communication and  watched it morph into extreme shapes like a fun house mirror.

 I  remember  the rotary phone, (vaguely). I remember the first answering machines, the ones  with  cassette tapes that needed to be flipped or replaced.  There were times when I appreciated the  convenience of simply leaving a message and not having  to have a real live conversation with someone on the other end.   Then came the era of pagers, when  you could be contacted  away from the office  and prompted to make a call back  for more instruction. This gave you the freedom to be away from your electronic domain, while still remaining somewhat attached to your superiors. 

The dawning of the cell phone has  permanently altered communication in ways that will continue to be revealed in  years to come.  We have become so tethered to our cell phones that many of us no longer have house phones. As a parent with two teenagers, I appreciate being able to reach them anywhere, at any time, via text messaging. (With their cooperation of course) (Oddly enough teenagers will return a text message in  a New York minute but never actually answer their phone when you call.)  (I am convinced that future generations will be bred with minute key pad finger tips to better accommodate the keypads on their cell phones.)  Texting can be informative,  provide a heads up for a change of plans, or  be loving and encouraging .  It is wonderful to receive a text message at a random moment during the day letting you know that someone is thinking of you.  Texting can answer a question, solve a problem and put your mind at ease.

 Despite the obvious benefits to having this accessibility, there are drawbacks that go unmentioned. We have become a society of instant message,  instant response. We often make ill-fated plans that simply don’t work due to faulty cell phone communication.  We assume that just because we “sent it”, you “received it”. And then when we don’t receive some kind of response, we get all butt hurt and assume the worst.  We use the forum to express ourselves in ways that we would never do face to face, and often times take liberties to solve disputes in one-sided irrational rants.  In the early days of my divorce, voice to voice communication with my X-husband was  challenging at best and impossible at it’s worst.  E-mail seemed like a viable form of sharing information about the kids so I purchased a cell phone that enabled me to receive e-mails directly to my phone.  Our children were quite young and it became necessary to convey certain information, sometimes on a daily basis.  My entire mood could be altered in an instant simply by opening an e-mail  and finding hate filled words and derogatory comments. I came to fear seeing these e-mails pop up on my phone at random times during the day, so eventually, I disabled this feature.  This whole experience led me to a phase in my life I like to call fear of phone syndrome  which led to fear of communication entirely!

We falsely believe that just because we carry a cell phone, we can be contacted at any time.  This requires us to place our phones somewhere where we can hear them.  (Duh) Yesterday, I missed the GE repair man because I was out in the back washing my car. I simply assumed he would realize this. Of course he tried to call my cell phone but I had left it sitting on the kitchen counter. As if I had expected it to sprout legs and come running out to tell me someone was at the door.  Recently I went out of town with a girlfriend and actually forgot my phone at home. When I realized this, 20 minutes into the trip, my first reaction was panic. I have not committed ANYBODIES number to memory, except my Mom’s. Once I was able to catch my breath and develop a plan, I began the phone number trail from my friend’s phone, that would be my connection to my family for the next 48 hours. It was actually kinda liberating to give up the control. KINDA.

 What I have learned is this… communication is imperfect…by the very nature of the fact that WE…are imperfect. The importance here is not the medium you choose to communicate, but being very clear about what it is you are trying to say.

The very first agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements   is

Be Impeccable with Your Word. 

He says,

It is through the word that you manifest everything. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are will all be manifested through the word. Seeing the awesome power of the word, we must understand what power comes out of our mouths.”

Perhaps, if we all took a step back from our instant communication and reflected on the magic that we possess, we would be careful to say what we mean and mean what we say.

 “If  I love myself I will express that love in my interactions with you, and then I am being impeccable with the word, because that action will produce a like reaction. If I love you , then you will love me.  If I insult you, you will insult me. If I have gratitude for you, you will have gratitude for me. All the magic you possess is based on your word. “

I am sure there were smoke signals that were obscured by  strong breezes, pigeons that flew off course and ponies that never arrived.  Messages sent, never received. Technology will find other ways to enable us to communicate and we will inevitably screw that up too. Why… because we are imperfect. But…if we try to be a little more impeccable with our word…on occasion…we just might get it right.  LOL

 

 

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