"I need to be with someone less powerful." His words cut through me like the frigid air of a New England winter. His dark words took up residence inside my head. What did he mean, "Someone less powerful?" Surely I was not a powerful person. I had spent 19 years carefully crafting an artificial life where I was "less than" my first husband.
I stifled myself. I became small so he could feel bigger and better about himself. I dimmed my light so he could shine bright.
I learned early in my first marriage that I wasn't supposed to make more money, be more creative, get promoted sooner or be more successful than him. I had to squash my inherent desire to become a better me. No matter how I tried to dim my light, my light shined on... even if it shined a little bit sideways. No matter what success or achievement I reached, my first husband found ways to weave black magic with his words.
"You're not that good anyway... "
"You get tunnel vision... "
"You always have a plan... "
"No matter how hard I try, I can never bring you down... "
And the worst he'd say to me (because he intensely disliked my father), "You are your father's daughter."
My first husband used his words as weapons of mass destruction. He used them to divide, separate, and create confusion. He used his words to interject fear, self-judgment and pain. Until I found Don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Four Agreements, I didn't know what or why he did what he did. I didn't know what I didn't know. I didn't fully understand the power and impact we have with our words until this transformational book found me. Ironically or divinely, it appeared in my life just as my first marriage ended in divorce in 2002.
The first agreement, to be impeccable with your word, broke wide open the false reality that I created. Not only was my first husband using his words as black magic but I believed those words and created more of that same toxic black magic within me and it oozed into every aspect of my life.
Ruiz writes, "The human mind is like a fertile ground where seeds are continually being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas and concepts. You plant a seed, a thought, and it grows. The word is like a seed, and the human mind is so fertile! The only problem is that too often it is fertile for the seeds of fear."
My first husband preyed on my fear-based thoughts. He stalked my self-doubt. He encouraged my own inner judge and jury. Together, we agreed to eat each others toxicity. I agreed to the pain and suffering he dished out on a frequent basis. After all, he was just using his words in a similar fashion as his parents, my parents, and their parents before them. Well intentioned adults and teachers who simply passed down the dream of the planet as it had been passed down to them.
When I first read The Four Agreements, I learned that anything I think, say, or do against myself or others is like weaving black magic that leaves a residue of waste long after the words have been spoken. When I am impeccable with my word I do not use my thoughts, words or actions against myself or others. Nor do I take personally (the second agreement) the words others say about me.
Our words are so very powerful. They can be used to create and they can be used to destroy. They create our reality and our dreams. Over time and with practice, I changed the words I not only allowed others to misuse against me but I misused as well.
"You need to be less powerful," became "I am fearfully and powerfully made."
The snide "You have tunnel vision," became "I complete what I start."
The disdainful "You are your father's daughter," became "damn straight I am!" I am proud to be my father's daughter because my father is a loving, kind, funny and brilliant human being.
Now that I know better about how my words create my reality, it is my responsibility to teach this to my children, to you and to keep teaching myself. I pay attention to my internal dialogue and the words I chose to think and say about myself. I pay attention to the words I say to others and the words I write. I'm mindful of the spell I'm casting for my dream, for the dreams of others, and ultimately for the heaven on earth I'm creating for myself and my family.
I ask you this -- what spell are you casting with your words?