Thursday, April 05, 2007

The tongue of angels

I've been wanting to blog about this ever since Saturday, when I heard the address "The Tongue of Angels" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at General Conference. What he said struck a deep chord with me. Perhaps it is because I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready to re-examine the way that I communicate with people and make difficult changes if necessary in order to be happier and kinder about what I say and how I say it. As an adult, I've had a tendency to be careless in the way I communicate on a more personal level because I know that I'm articulate and capable of comunicating well, and so I take it for granted that I can just say whatever and it will come out sounding brilliant.

A few years back I read a phenomenal book called The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. The entire book is quite profound, but I remember that one of his principles (or "agreements") stood out to me, "Be Impeccable With Your Word". As he explains it, being impeccable with your word means to "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." Ruiz goes on and elaborates: "The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power that you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life." At the time I read this book, I realized the destructive power my word had wreaked on my belief in my own strength, value and abilities, and I began to work on changing that.

When I heard Elder Holland's talk, it reminded me of "the impeccable word" but in a different light: the power that I have as a wife and mother to destroy or build my family. I had the stark realization that I've taken that power for granted and been careless with it. And so, in the wake of that realization, I'm feeling a renewed commitment to be aware of and careful with my words. It's not always a comfortable feeling to get a wake up call, but I'm grateful for it.

1 comment:

lidi said...

i had the same wake up call! hard, but much needed in my case. thanks for the reminder.