“Everything we do is based on agreements we have made – agreements with ourselves, with other people, with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that come from fear, deplete our energy, and diminish our self-worth.” Don Miguel Ruiz.
Don Miguel Ruiz, is a Mexican author who in 1997 published a little book, no more than 140 pages long, that was rooted in ancient Toltec (indigenous American Indian tribe that flourished in Mexico before the Aztecs) wisdom, called The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, a Toltec Wisdom Book.
This little book offered four principles, a simple teaching, that can transform your life and all your relationships. It went on to sell over 4 million copies.
If you have not read The Four Agreements this book is highly recommended. If you have, it is always a good one to reread, to remind yourself of the teachings. To actually keep to the Four Agreements can be one of the hardest things you will do, as you slip back into habitual instincts. However, if you can keep the awareness and have the four agreements at the forefront of your mind, it may change your life and all your relationships forever…for the better!
“If you practice the Four Agreements, you will master the Four Agreements. Eventually, after many repetitions, these agreements will become a habit, and you will see how your life is transformed.” Don Miguel Ruiz.
The Four Agreements:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word:
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean and mean only what you say, which means thinking before you speak. Avoid using your word to speak negatively against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally:
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream, and their own triggers. It may have actually nothing to do with you. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions:
Don’t assume anything…ever! Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
4. Always Do Your Best:
If you know you are always doing your best, then that is the best you can ask of yourself. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Don Miguel Ruiz later published a sequel called The Fifth Agreement which he explains, “…is ultimately about seeing our whole reality through the eyes of truth. The result of practicing this agreement is the complete acceptance of ourselves just the way we are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is our eternal happiness.”
Image Credit: The Four Agreements