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Be Impeccable With Your Word: Understanding the 1st Agreement

Be impeccable with your word. So what does that mean? 

  1. Speak with Integrity. 
  2. Speak in the direction of Love and Truth. 
  3. Don’t use your words to gossip or to talk negatively towards yourself. 

Let’s look at what all these things look like. I do believe that we in society have been told a lie. We have been told a lie in society. 

Now the first one. This is the reason why that’s important. 

The biggest lie we’ve ever been told in society is this: sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you. Oh what a crock of [ __ ] that is. 

Words will never hurt you? Have you ever seen a child be bullied in school with people calling them names and this and that? Words don’t hurt that kid? He goes home and says that’s nothing, they’re just words. No man, those words penetrate their soul, they penetrate their heart, they penetrate their mind, they shape their idea of who they are and who they’re not. See, when I break my wrist I put a cast on and do some physical therapy and it’s good to go. When someone uses words and breaks my heart, where is the cast for that? So if words are that powerful then the first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. Have integrity with the things you say. Say what you mean. How many of you don’t say what you mean or change it because you don’t want the other person to feel a certain way? How many of you try to change what you want to say for them to receive some type of a message? When you speak subliminal to other people, you speak around topics. Have integrity and speak directly and say what you mean. If somebody says how are you doing today and you’re scared inside or you’re angry and say, “Oh I’m fine thank you for asking,” what’s the point of that? And when you speak to other people like, “Do you gossip? Do you talk negatively towards other people about them?” If the answer is yes, “Why? To make yourself feel better and make them feel bad?” If you’re harsh and critical and condemn people and use your words in sharp ways, why do you really think that those words are going to cause them to say, “Oh my God, they’re right, I am a lazy piece of s[__]. I will start to work a little bit harder now.” 


Pause when Agitated or Doubtful

Where does all this come from? If you had a highly critical parent growing up chances of you being highly critical to other people or at least to yourself is very high. How do you speak to yourself? How do you speak to yourself? I would add be conscious and pause with the words when you are angry and frustrated. 


In the 12 steps in the big book for those of you who subscribe to the program, it says we pause when agitated or doubtful. We pause when agitated or doubtful, and what you want to do is to be able to take a little timeout, a little break, a little moment, maybe go write it down, maybe revisit it. Rarely do people come back the next day with the same emotional intensity they had the day before. 


Words are like Viruses

So in this one what I want you to know is that words are like viruses. They only have power if they’re in a certain type of a breeding ground, if they’re in a certain type of environment, and if we don’t allow that environment to exist by talking negatively to others, talking negatively to ourselves, words start to lose their impact. So what you want to do is to start using words that are kind and you want to start with yourself. You want to catch yourself when you’re not using kind words to yourself. And when you start to learn how to speak kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself, have compassion towards yourself, then and only then will you be able to pass that on to those you have interactions with. I have yet to meet someone that is harsh and critical and just intense to themselves but loving, compassionate and understanding towards others. It all starts with you. So check yourself when you feel like you are not speaking in a direction of love and truth to yourself and that’s the way you can go about it. 


So please be impeccable with your word. Try putting your brain in gear before putting your mouth in motion. This really works for me well so I think it is a great analogy. So it’s kind of like, think before you act. This analogy is funny because if people don’t have an understanding of stick shift and gears and stuff like that it’s all automatic, a little different. So this would be really, really good in the stick shift days. Think before you act. And if you don’t know what you’re thinking is true or not, pick up the damn phone and ask somebody and share your thoughts. Shine the light on them. 


A counselor that comes to my family education group says going up there in your head is a dangerous neighborhood. Sometimes you don’t want to go there alone. So if you don’t know if the thoughts you’re having are true or real or accurate, run them by a few people and then act. Never go based on your thoughts and emotions at the same time triggered. Man, nothing good happens out of that.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.