"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:
at the first gate, ask your self, 'Is it true?'
at the second gate ask, 'Is it necessary?'
at the third gate ask, 'Is it kind?'"
These 3 questions, or gates if you will, -- can be asked before our words leave our mouth. We all know that the energy and impact of words, once spoken, can never really be called back.
It can take 2 - 30 seconds and, with practice, your heart and gut will tell you if you should talk … or hit the pause button.
Indeed, the Three Gates does take awareness and practice. And years of practice has taught me the value of The Three Gates. When the words we speak -- pass through these Three Gates -- we have made a wonderful and loving contribution to connecting and contributing to a relationship, with a partner, family member, friend, or stranger.
Oh yes, I still catch myself on occasion -- and observe my words did NOT pass one of these three questions. And this is how I learn. This is how we all learn from childhood to adults. We make mistakes, we learn, and we move forward.
I know this ancient wisdom of The Three Gates is often attributed to Rumi, or to the Sufi's, or to Socrates. With research, I have not been able to confirm the truth of any of these attributions. There are other attributions -- and none that I have found have been authenticated.
How ironic! I am writing a Blog on the Three Gates, and I cannot confirm the Truth of the historical author of this saying!!
That said, I do KNOW in my heart, personally, that when what I say passes through these Three Gates … I am on the path to communicating with authenticity, service, and lovingkindness.
Let's explore what it means to pass through the Three Gates.
So, whatever thought may have popped into our mind, only allow the words to pop out of our mouth if they make it through the Three Gates. If the thought does not meet any one of these tests, stay silent and move on. This process is not complicated and may take only a few seconds of quick reflection.
The practice of before we speak, ask yourself there 3 questions, brings echoes of the wisdom of don Miguel Ruiz’s internationally acclaimed book, “The Four Agreements.” I love the exquisite simplicity of this book which I revisit every year and has a byline, “A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. The First Agreement is " Be Impeccable with Your Word." What does impeccable mean? Here is his answer:
" Being impeccable with your word is
the correct use of your energy;
it means to use your energy
in the direction of truth and love for yourself."
The echoes I hear are : truth, energy and love. The chapter, "Be Impeccable With Your Word," goes on to explore the impact of words, with historical political references, stories of parenting and imprints on children, as well as the damages of gossiping.
The simple, and challenging, practice of Before We Speak: The Three Gates is ancient wisdom which helps us translate being impeccable with our words into our daily practice.
Words matter. This I believe. This I KNOW.
Till next time,
May you laugh often and be happy now, Alison
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