“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

While sitting in a restaurant today I had a major league “ah-ha” that really whacked me upside the head and I would like to share this realization with you. Perhaps you might be able to relate with it (or at least know someone who will ) because at first glance it appears to be a very innocuous form of behavior based on the fact that we all tend to “do it” on a regular basis. It seems to be inculcated in our culture. Perhaps for that very reason it is something to which we all need to pay attention because it affects the emotional (and thus physical) well being of all of us. The “it” to which I am referring is gossip and the mindless spreading of hearsay, comments and rumors. As I sat trying to mind my own business while eating my lunch, the people in the booth directly behind me were “having” someone by the name of Jane for lunch...and she wasn’t even there! I honestly did my best to dial it out but the energy of their conversation was all pervasive. They were talking about her in such a disparaging manner that it was painful to hear. It was in that moment that I became aware that I have also on occasion, been a target of the same sort of mindless, groundless gossip and rumors, and yes, I too, have also feasted on savory gossip and noshed on tasty unfounded rumors with others. In a microsecond, I understood that the pain I was feeling for Jane and those who were talking about her had became my pain because they were a reflection of me.

At some point or another in our lives we have all been the target of gossip and rumors, as well as participants in the spreading of them. It is insidious, toxic and, yet, oh so juicy. Unless we are mindful and vigilant, it’s quite easy to fool ourselves into believing that what is coming from our minds, mouths and hearts is harmless idle chatter. That’s how gossip works. It’s hard to detect when we are in the process of gossiping because it is provocative and seductive, but most of all, it is destructive. Why is it that gossip is so prevalent among us? Many people find some sort of power in gossip because it represents “inside” knowledge that not everyone else is privy to.  Some people find great comfort in knowing they can commiserate (share their misery) with like-minded people, while others may find gossip and the spreading of rumors a passive/aggressive way of dealing with their feelings of jealousy or envy, or perhaps their own insecurities and fears.  Still, for others, it may mean that by putting someone else down (who is seldom present) it somehow makes themselves feel more important. The reasons we gossip are legion, however, not one of them justifies the activity.

This message is a reminder of how easy it is to jump into the stagnate pool of mindless gossip in our workplace, our church, the doctor’s office, the grocery store and even our own homes and neighborhoods. From a spiritual perspective, understanding we are all one, it means that when we gossip to others about others we are ultimately doing damage to ourselves as well. Beyond the aforementioned spiritual reality is the fact that any person who will gossip with you about others will also gossip about you with others. I guess it’s an instant karma sort of thing. Any way you cut it, gossip and the spreading of rumors is counter productive to creating a healthy relationship with life. Speaking with integrity in our daily interactions is a conscious choice we get to make every day.

I invite you to join me in using this test before we unleash words that may be less than impeccable. Before speaking to or about another person, mindfully ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it true? Do I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what I am repeating is accurate and true, or is based on hearsay and assumptions that I or others have made without gathering all the facts from an impartial and reliable source?

2. What will I gain from repeating these words to others? Will what I am going to say be life affirming, productive and helpful to all involved and will the world be a better place because I uttered these words? If not, why would I want to repeat them?

3. Is what I am about to say about another person something I would have the clarity, courage and commitment to say to their face, and, if so, why don't I do so?

4. Will what I am going to say be using the power of my word in the direction of truth and love?

Before we speak, or hit the forward and send button, it would do us well to pause and become witness to our thoughts before they become our word. It was a great reminder  for me this week regarding the importance of being impeccable in our word. I invite you to join me in using the power of your word in an intentional and conscious manner. Not just because speaking with integrity is the right thing to do, but because the world needs and deserves the absolute highest and best that we can bring to it. When we gossip and spread rumors--when we speak less than impeccably about others, we are affirming to the universe that hears our every word that we feel separate and apart from the whole of life--we are declaring our own lack of wholeness. When we are not impeccable in our word we participate in creating pain and suffering for others and that is not why we have come to earth. When we use our word in the direction of truth and love, we honor God’s presence by creating harmony and peace, and that is why we are here. What we think and say matters, so being impeccable with our word seems like a great place to start. Now that is worth repeating, so pass it on!


Dennis Merritt Jones

Author's Bio: 

Throughout his lifetime, Dennis Merritt Jones has been on a quest to inspire and lift people to a higher expression of life. His personal vision is to guide people to their purpose, knowing that when a person is fully awakened to who they authentically are and why they are on the planet, they begin to naturally share their gift with humankind and, in the process, create an enriching life for themselves and the world around them. Dennis believes each one of us has the capacity and, ultimately, the responsibility to contribute something positive to this world, leaving it a better place than it was when we arrived. His teachings promote a contemporary, life-affirming, spiritually logical and positive outlook on life, which are reflected in his writings. He
says, "A positive thinker grounded in his or her spirituality is the most powerful person on the face of the planet."

Dennis has been a respected contributor to the human potential movement and the field of trans-denominational spirituality as a teacher, author, lecturer, newspaper columnist and musician for more than twenty-five years. He travels conducting workshops and seminars that draw seekers at all levels of spiritual practice, including those in the cultural creative movement. He has the ability to touch and awaken what lies within the hearts and minds of everyone - a desire to know that their life matters and that each one has a gift to reveal and share with the world. His skill rests in his ability to bring people passionately into alignment
with their purpose. Dennis is the author of The Art of Being ~101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your Life, released in April 2008 by Tarcher/Penguin Publishing.

Dennis founded the OneSpirit Center for Spiritual Living in Simi Valley, CA, in 1985 and retired from that pulpit ministry in 2008 with a desire to take his passion for writing and teaching to the world. While the Spiritual Director of OneSpirit and as part of his outreach to assist people in living a more balanced and rewarding life, he created a TV program entitled “One Power” which was broadcast in the Los Angeles area. Subsequently, he later hosted “Wisdom Teachers”, an internet program where he interviewed contemporary and spiritual luminaries such as Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jonathon Young, Barbara Fields, Lissa Coffey, Mary Manin
Morrissey, Walter Starke, Terry Cole-Whittaker, Kusala Bhikshu, John Astin, Mark Vicente, producer of “What The Bleep Do
We Know”, and many others.

He has written curriculum for the International Centers For Spiritual Living (ICSL) Board of Education, served as the
chairperson of the Marketing Committee, authoring various materials used to this day in New Thought spiritual communities
around the world. He has served as ICSL First Vice President, chairperson for Creative Thought magazine, the ministerial
Placement Committee and the ICSL Global Outreach Committee. Dennis is also the proud recipient of ICSL’s prestigious Raymond Charles Barker Writers Award and the Ernest Holmes Legacy Award. In addition, he currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Association for Global New Thought.