As Don Miguel Ruiz states in his book ‘The Four Agreements’ be impeccable with your word.
I remember reading this in his book years ago and intellectually understanding the reasoning behind his statement but I did not ‘know’ the meaning. There is a huge difference between understanding something and actually knowing it. I could equate it to reading a book about how to drive. One could read the book over and over, memorize all of the steps and procedures and rules, know the concepts in and out, but get behind the wheel and put the car in motion and all the theory goes out the proverbial window. One has to actually get in a car and drive in order to know what driving is all about.
Sue sent me a message this morning and in it she wrote that she had forgotten part of her lunch. Now she is over an hour away by bus and train so there was no way she was coming home to get what she had forgotten. It was fine though as she could run across the street where she works and get something else to eat.
I jokingly messaged her back asking if she wanted me to bring what she had forgotten to her at work. She responded by messaging that the food was not worth the time and effort to get it to her. I messaged back that the food was irrelevant as it was her worth that was important. She messaged back a big “Awwww” and that I would have to bring it by noon and let her know if I was coming.
Now this created a dilemma. I had set all this up by jokingly writing that I could bring it to her; something I was not really serious about, and then compounded it by referring to her worth. Now she did give me an out by asking me to let her know if I was coming but that out would completely negate what I had honestly written about her worth. Hmmmm? An interesting dilemma for the Self-Married Guy.
What I had actually done here was manipulate her, unknowingly mind you, but it was manipulation nonetheless. So lets break it down and understand it. She communicated to me that she had forgotten part of her lunch but it was not an issue though as she could run across the street and get something else. This means that she was fine taking care of her needs and I was not needed to help. I then offered to bring her her lunch knowing, on some level, that she would not need me to do this and would most likely let me know that it was not necessary. So this setup allowed me to be the hero without having to do anything. Big brownie points for me by making the offer that I figured would not be accepted. I then buttered her up some more by indicating that it was her worth rather than the lunch item that was important. I was now a hero and a sweetie and stood to accrue even more brownie points.
Now remember that this is all going on unconsciously. I am not aware of what I am doing but the manipulation is working out according to plan. I have my out so I am free of any obligation and can be happy knowing that I am such a caring and loving boyfriend. The problem though was that I did not really have an out. She had left the ball in my court by not asking me to come but also not telling me not to come. This was awkward as it actually felt like she was now kind of wanting me to prove her worth by bringing her food to her.
It was at this point that I realized that I had manipulated her, that I had not really wanted to bring her food to her at all. I had used the guise of a joke to not commit while making it appear that I was committing. Being able to use the joke stance allowed me room to move if for some reason she agreed to my chivalrous act. How sneaky of me.
In light of all this realization I knew then that I must bring her food to her. I must honour my agreement even if I did not mean to make one in the first place. I must be impeccable with my word.
So I drove her food to her and also honoured her request that I be there at noon. She was touched that I would do this for her and was quite grateful. The best part though was that I was able to relate my process and what I had learned about myself. So she got truth and honesty as well as her food. This is what a truthful relationship is all about. This is what my commitment to my Self-Marriage brings to her and our relationship. It is not about hiding anything but of being open and honest and as transparent as possible so that trust in self and the other can flourish. So be impeccable with your word as you never know what it will bring.