I’ve been reading the book “The Four Agreements.” It was first published in 1997, so I’m a little late to the finding peace in a crazy world. Then again, in the 19 years since the book was published, the world is a little crazier, ruder, and a whole lot harder to get through the day to day struggles.
The book states that there are four agreements you can make with yourself to find happiness, personal freedom and love.
- Be Impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
Sounds easy, huh? No, not so much, at least not for me.
I find that I run on emotion. I react before I take the time to think and process, and this leads me into a heap of trouble. I say things I really mean, but I say them in a way that isn’t always going to get me the results I would like to have. So the #1- Be Impeccable with your Word – is something I need to work on – big time. We all have the power to cast spells on one another with our words which are really our opinions. If a child hears an opinion that they are ugly or stupid or useless, they will listen to that, believe it and grow up with this idea of who and what they are. It will not matter how gorgeous, smart or useful they are, this child will believe the opinion they heard, and this is the agreement they will make with themselves.
Our word is the way we communicate with the world. Your word says who you are in the world. To use it for lies and gossip and to break people down will in the end bring you down. It will all come back to you in one form or another. If you spend your time and your word saying things you know will hurt someone or push their buttons, then you should also know that this is what you will receive in return. You can’t tell someone they suck and expect them to say: “Hey thanks for that, I love you back.”
#1 - Be Impeccable With Your Word – Yep - lots of work for me to do here…
When someone says something to me that hurts me or pisses me off my first thought is to attack back – hence the #2 –Don’t Take Anything Personally – is something that rarely enters my mind. I immediately think that whoever is attacking me is – well - attacking me. The thought that whatever they are saying is really about what is going on in their life doesn’t enter my train of thought at all. I’ve discovered that in all actuality I really do need to think about it.
The truth is that we all bring our own “stuff” into every conversation, every argument, and every aspect of our lives. I find that when I take things that others say personally I feel offended and the urge to defend myself and my beliefs will often lead to conflicts because I feel that I absolutely have to be right and everyone else has to be wrong. But – everything we say and do comes from our own experience our own journey. How can my way be right for someone who has never experienced the things in their life I have? It’s my truth, my life, my agreement with myself. It’s hard sometimes not to take things personally but, if I remember that the world does not revolve around me, it’s a little easier to get the logic behind the “Don’t Take Anything Personally” agreement.
What I have learned from this book so far is huge for me. I’ve come to understand that absolutely nothing others in my life do is because of me. Whatever they do is because of them. They all live in their own minds, their own dreams, and their world is completely different than the little world I live in. Why would I ever think I have the right to comment on their lives, their actions, their opinions when I have no freaking idea from where they come? And why, oh why would I ever count what they say as the truth about me?
# 2 -Don’t Take Anything Personally” – It’s a process, but I’m certainly working on it.
#3 – Don’t Make Assumptions and #4 – Always Do Your Best - haven’t come into play yet as I’m still trying to process that the world does not revolve around me!