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The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz
After moving back from Boulder I found myself in the midst of an uncomfortable and confusing situation. Since I had just experienced what I thought to be one of the greatest years of my life and found such happiness and peace, I thought it was a mistake that I was facing something so difficult and that I had returned here- a space where I was being facing discomfort. I started spinning a wild web of illusion, dangerously comparing situations I'd previously been in with that of the present step. I was ultimately forgetting that I needed to be exactly where I was because I was about to learn something. As with every painful step:
After great struggle comes great understanding
I believe books (and lessons) have a way of showing up on your path just when you need it the most. This was the case with The Four Agreements. It arrived in my hands at the exact turning point I needed some light and insight, and opened my eyes to 4 very simple teachings. I hope if you've never heard of this book I hope that you one day, someday, inquire into reading it and that it offers you what it did for me.
Don't Take Anything Personally
When we believe something happened that really didn't, it's because our internal minds are running on the fritz and distracting us with illusions and stories that we tell ourselves. Our minds are playing crazy tricks on us all the time, without us really knowing it. When we think we are to blame for someone else's experience, someone else's sorrow, we are immediately including ourselves for the reasons why it happened. We have a self-centered attitude to believe that we are the focus and fault for someone else's behaviors and someone else's actions.
The real story is that we are all just working through our own personal dramas with lessons that happen to include others. Sometimes it comes down to the fact that we are just having a really bad day and when we encounter someone in our moody frame of mind- they think they are the reason behind it- when really, it's just us feeling terrible and working through that.
The same goes for others - most of the time they are so involved in their own issues, their own story, their own world, that they forget you're even a character in it. When people rub us the wrong way, it's never really them that's the issue, it's the lesson and reaction they bring up within us that's upsetting. Something within us that we need to face and work out.
This one goes hand-in hand with not taking things personally and opens us to clearer communication so that we don't start telling ourself stories and spinning into illusion. We assume things from A-Z that really aren't necessary and a huge waste of our time and energy. If we only realized how much we assume such silly non-existent things we make up in our minds, then we could shave a lot of years off our life from wasted energy. When we cease assuming and being at fault for happenings that are beyond our control- we have plenty of room to settle and get acquainted with our own feelings/thoughts/emotions- and can gracefully sit into the Present Moment. Which is what these thoughts/blogs are all about; Being HERE! Wherever it is. And facing the present without that mental fog of silly thoughts.
Be Impeccable with Your Word
Our words are very powerful and carry a wave of energy with them. We can spread either peace and love, or toxicity. When we are careful with how we choose to use our energy, then we can spread more light and love and more peace: Which we could all use more of.
Our "self-talk" is negative most of the time and this negativity is seeping into our soul and becomes what we suffer from in the form of disease, stress, sickness, etc. When we focus on how we are using our words to benefit ourselves (this internal dialogue) and those we hand over to others, we can create a healthier environment for everyone involved. Words do matter, and the ones we repeatedly tell ourselves over and over, end up becoming our life and what plays out before us and within us.
Always try your Best
Everyday is different and with that we too are different. One day we could be full of energy and ready to accomplish tasks, when the next we are left exhausted and have little energy to function. If we push ourselves past the point of what we truly need to give ourself in that moment, we create stress and again, disease. We can't expect to perform the same tasks yesterday as today-and if we must- then it won't be to the same degree that we previously did.
We get caught up comparing ourselves to everybody else and even our own self. If we set a standard that we had met in the past and don't seem to reach that same point again then we find frustration and disappointment festering. This is a negative weight to constantly carry around- always trying to outdo your past self. What this agreement provides is relaxation in the present moment to accept it for what it is, and know that it will eventually change because you will also change.
Everything and everyone is traveling on this temporary wave of life and never know what we will encounter. We are changing along with the tides and seasons and must remember that nothing is permanent- not even our best self at that moment.Everyday brings some new lesson, some progression. These 4 simple teachings can make a radical difference in our everyday lives when we put them into practice. I hope it offers some light to you like it did for me many years ago.
Every thought has the power to transform our lives- for good or bad- the choice is ours