Be Impeccable With Your Word for Better Mental Health

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I made it through the first part of the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  The first agreement is “Be Impeccable With Your Word.”  He says that our words have power; are like magic.  Words can harm or help.  Words can incite hate or promote love.  It is here where the impeccable part comes in.

Impeccable means to not sin against one’s self.  When we attack or speak unlovingly to others we create in them negative feelings towards us, thereby causing harm or “sinning” against ourselves.

Being impeccable means being genuine and loving with ourselves by being genuine and loving with others.  It’s knowing when to say something and when to be silent.  It is avoiding gossip at all costs.  It’s not only learning what to say, but HOW to say it.  I am finding out, as I try to apply this agreement to my daily life, that it is a very difficult thing to do.

I find myself NOT being impeccable with my word about things all day, even silly things like complaining about an app on my phone – saying things like, “These app developers don’t know what they are doing.  If they had any sense they’d know what people want!”

That is not being impeccable with my word.  Instead I could have said, “I wish the app had this feature on it.”  See the difference?  In the former I felt irritated and angry and self-righteous.  In the latter, my emotive state would have been much calmer and serene, thus impeccable.

This is going to take a lot of practice and mindfulness to change, because I think I am more of a complainer than I realize.  I gossip and I judge and I complain.  I’ve worked really hard over the last couple of months to stop judging myself; to be impeccable with my word directly towards myself, and I’ve made a lot of progress with it.

Now, it is time to look outside of myself and make some changes.  Now, it is time to try to be completely impeccable with my word in not just my relationship with myself, but in how I relate to everyone and everything.

Wish me luck.

 

Is Bipolar Anger to Blame?

driving-918950_640I had a major bout of self-hatred last night after a minor incident of road rage.  When dropping my daughter and her friends off at school another driver was going against the flow of the approved traffic route set up by the school, which blocked my way for a few seconds.

As I waited for him to get out of the way I gave him the death stare and said over and over again, “You are going the wrong way.  You are going the wrong way.”  I started fumbling with my window to roll it down so I could maybe yell at him as we passed when I heard my daughter say, “Mom, just stop.”

As soon as she said that, I literally felt myself being sucked out of this kind of time warp vacuum where everything was standing still and I was in a silenced tunnel with just me and this guy, moving in slow motion like in a movie or something.  When she said my name, and I turned to look at her, all the sights and sounds of my environment came flooding back into my awareness.

It was really freaky to realize how focused and close to a black out state I get with my rage sometimes.  Is this part of bipolar?  I can’t imagine that “normal” people get mad to this extreme over something so minor.  The thing I was mad about wasn’t that he was blocking my way, but that he wasn’t following the rules.

I would say that people who don’t follow the rules is my biggest pet peeve, but it is so much more than a pet peeve.  It is more than nails on a chalk board.  It is more than torturous.  It has got to be one of the worse things out there for me and I don’t know why it bothers me so much.

When people think they are above the rules or the law, or more important than everyone else by cutting in line, parking illegally, etc. to save time, it enrages me.  The unfairness of it all is too much for me to comprehend, and I am one to say something rather than to keep quiet.

I wish I could keep my mouth shut because I embarrass my children and I hate that.  I want to learn to let things go more; to not let these things bother me so much.  If only I understood why they bother me so much to begin with I might be able to resolve it.

I get just as angry, if not more, when the unfairness happens to someone else as well, not just me, even if that someone else is a stranger.  It’s crazy.  It drives me crazy.  I need to just live and let live.

I am not sure how to get out of this self-judging mode.  It is what I am supposed to be working on  – not judging myself so harshly.  I suppose I didn’t roll down my window and yell at him, so it’s ok.  I hate that my daughter had to snap me out of it, and that I made her uncomfortable and I am sure scared.

That is what makes me hate myself – because I scared her I am sure.  My anger always does, because I yell when I get angry and she’s told me many times she doesn’t like it when I yell.  It upsets her.  (Sigh.)  I’ll just keep trying.

Perfect is Not Perfect

cartoon-1299636_1280My husband cooked dinner last night, as he often does.  He’s great that way, and in many other ways.  I am very blessed.  However, he forgot to make a certain vegetable that I asked him to make, and I, in my normal fashion, got mad.  What is wrong with me?  Why do I insist on perfection from others?  Probably because it is what I expect from myself.  How do I stop doing this?

I think it has to do with my attempt to control everything in my world, which goes back to my anxiety disorder.  To try to decrease my anxiety, I try to control my external world in every way I think I can, even in ways that realistically I can’t; I cannot control people, places or things.  Crap!  I can’t control ANYTHING, except for MYSELF!  And in trying to control other people, I may, in fact, be creating more anxiety for myself as I worry about them failing my expectations.

There is a slogan that we live by in AA that comes to mind here that says, “Live and Let Live.”  It means to live your own life and let others live theirs without interfering with it except in the event that they ask you to or that it is your minor child or things like that.

Bottom line is I need to chill out.  Sometimes I think the best thing to do is to have NO expectations.  That way I have less chance of being disappointed and more of a chance of being pleasantly surprised.