Communication Hack: Putting a Guard in Front of Your Mouth

One of the primary functions of Self Honesty is checking what you are experiencing in yourself as you are placing words in Reality – whether spoken or written – to determine whether you are possessed by a compulsion like spite, blame, reactions, judgments, righteousness, ego — so you can then stop and take self responsibility to place a guard in front of your mouth and work on yourself until you are able to place Words in Awareness without creating unnecessary consequences for yourself and others.

The concept of ‘putting a guard in front of your mouth’ originates from the Bible, as I understand it. Some years ago I heard this concept placed in the context of what these words would imply in relation to Self Responsibility. I think it was Bernard Poolman who first placed it in such context.

I placed the ‘Guard’ principle in my own words according to how I’ve experienced and applied this point of Self Honesty and Self Responsibility for myself in relation to the particular challenges I’ve faced with communication in certain kinds of situations. I would say the primary communication scenario that was quite a challenge for me to get to a point of being able to stop and ‘Place a Guard in Front of my Mouth’, was that in which whether spoken or in writing online, someone places words of an ‘attacking’, or ‘accusatory’, or ‘invalidating’ nature towards either me or the principles that I support.

For a long time my tendency was to experience a form of ‘intensity’ rising in myself in reaction to such words, like a kind of adrenaline experience connected to a defensiveness, or righteousness, or some similar experience that would literally make me feel Compelled to ‘retaliate’ in some way. And when I accepted and allowed myself to place words within such a state of reaction, my words would end up being polluted by subtle judgments or spitefulness — some form of wanting the other to feel disproved / invalidated / shamed. Like a way of asserting MY stance as the dominant / correct / righteous point. And often this would end up creating unnecessary arguments and debates – because as we’ve all experienced — when we speak in judgment to someone, in reaction to someone — they pick up on that, they are aware of that, and that triggers their own reactions and then more words are placed in reaction – like a chain reaction of reactions from both sides.

It took me a lot of repeated conflicts, leading to eventual self reflection and writing out of Mind Constructs (a skill which I learned through the Desteni I Process course), before I was able to come to grips with the underlying memories and self definitions from my past which were driving this pattern of feeling the need to ‘disprove’ someone and ‘assert that I am correct, and that they are not valid’.

Through my writing process I became acutely aware of what it actually feels like when something is in fact moving in me and ‘compelling’ me to speak. And within that becoming aware of how when I am accepting and allowing myself to speak and place words within being in such a ‘compulsion’ state, I’m not in fact looking, seeing, considering the nature of the situation fully — in terms of:

Who am I directing my words to?
Who are they / where are they at in their minds, their lives, their own process?
How will my words affect them? How will me words affect others who may see my words? What example will I be setting? What statement will I be making about myself?
Who am I within my words? How would I describe myself in this moment?
Would my words be supportive? Would they in fact assist or benefit the other, or myself, or the situation?
Would my words be placed in understanding and awareness?
Would my words be a Self Expression?
Or would my words be a judgment, an attack, a manipulation, an ego trip, an intellectual regurgitation of information simply to hear myself speak or assert my ‘status’ within realizing or understanding something?

These are questions we should all ask ourselves in those moments when we feel compelled to speak in reaction to something someone says. To me this is a huge part of what it means to live Self Honestly. Because look at what goes on in the world on a daily basis as a result of people letting their reactions, opinions, and personalities control what they say to each other?

What I’ve found assists with applying this Guard principle is realizing and reminding myself that — I don’t NEED to respond immediately to something someone says or that I see written by someone online. Communication isn’t about ‘me making MY point’ just because someone presents a challenge or ‘invites’ a response. Sometimes the best response is to WAIT and work on myself, reflect, and assess the best way to approach a point of communication in a way that will be practical and beneficial to all.

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