“Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison… At first it may be difficult to avoid gossip entirely, but eventually you will see how breaking the agreement to gossip will transform your life.” don Miquel Ruiz
Last week we talked about the first agreement to be impeccable with your word from don Miguel Ruiz’s book the Four Agreements. Today, we will expand on that agreement with the focus on gossip.
We discussed that being impeccable with your word is one of the most difficult agreements to keep because your word includes your thoughts, written and oral communication. The other aspect that makes it difficult to keep is to not gossip. According to Ruiz, we learned how to gossip when we were children; we heard the adults in our lives gossiping and giving their opinions about other people. We saw gossip as the normal way to communicate. Everyone was doing it.
If you look at our culture, you see tabloid magazines full of gossip, reality television capitalizes on people talking bad about one another and creating drama, and social media sites are full of people venting about individuals they may or may not know. Gossiping has become our main form of communication. We use gossip as a way to feel close to one another and to feel better about ourselves. Some of the appeal of gossip is that there is a thrill when we feel that we are in on “the secret” about another person. Our ego likes to be “in the know” and feel superior to others. Our ego even loves negative gossip because we feel better about ourselves when we see other people suffer and make the same mistakes that we have – misery loves company.
When we gossip, we are not being impeccable with our word. Gossip is poison and we must stop the spread of it. This is a difficult agreement to break. Awareness is the key. Once I decided to be impeccable with my word, I noticed how many group interactions deal with gossip. I noticed which friends and groups spent more time gossiping. Start to pay attention to when and where you partake in gossip. Notice how it makes you feel when you gossip about others or yourself. Do you feel guilty or sad?
Since gossip is so prevalent in our society, what can you do?
I still struggle with gossip, but continue to pay attention in my conversations. I practice it one day at a time. When I make a mistake and engage with others in gossip, I stop. I don’t beat myself up. I again make the pledge to not gossip. And with each pledge it gets easier and I go for longer stretches of time without gossiping. It is difficult, but I feel so much better about myself when I am impeccable with my word and don't gossip.
How does gossip make you feel?
What can you do to stop the spread of gossip?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.