I have been in a fog lately: passing judgment, shouldering guilt, swirling in sadness, swallowing tears and pain, blaming others, blaming myself. I wake up in panic. I fall asleep in sadness. I’m not living my authentic life.
I decided the first step out of the darkness is to rediscover my inner warrior, so I revisited Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, a little book bursting with simple wisdom. These four agreements are to be made for myself, not others. This is the only way to the light and the joy.
The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with your word.
This sounds simple enough, but what it means is that my word is really all I have. My words are my soul. Only speak the truth, not for malicious gossip and not for hateful judgment. Through my words I create my own power. A misuse of my word can create confusion, corruption, and even destruction. I want my word to be joyful. My word is magic. My word is light.
The important thing to remember about this first agreement is that when I am impeccable with my words, I take responsibility for myself. I no longer point fingers at others for my pain, but I also do not take the blame. Miguel Ruiz writes, “Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.”
The Second Agreement: Don’t take anything personally.
Wow. This agreement is the most powerful one, if genuinely followed. Miguel Ruiz writes, “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” My reality is my dream. I am not a Victim. I am not a Judge. I can create my own heaven without the approval of others. It is a tremendous gift. It is freedom. My point of view is my own. It is my truth. What others think of me is none of my business.
The Third Agreement: Don’t make Assumptions.
You know the old saying, “The first three letters in assume are ‘ass.’” If I want the truth, I ask questions. If I don’t ask the questions, then I am an ass. Misunderstanding leads to drama. I can write a thousand scenarios in my crazy head, but none of them will be the one if there is not direct communication.
This is a difficult one for me. I am often assuming when I should be clarifying, but making assumptions often leads to bigger problems. Miguel Ruiz writes, “We make the assumption that everyone see life the way we do. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make.” When I stop assuming, I take away the fear.
The Fourth Agreement: Always do your best.
If I always do my best, I may avoid regret and sadness and self-doubt. My best may change from day to day, but it is still my best. My best is not guilt-ridden. My best is a day-to-day pledge to live and love and experience joy in all things.
I am not doing my best if I put myself down, if I wallow in self-pity, if I am jealous of others, if I am expecting praise for every little thing I do, if I just exist. Doing my best is taking action, living my life, believing in the present. Miguel Ruiz writes, “Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment.” So…to do my best at this moment is to see joy in the drops of rain, my morning coffee, and the two cats sleeping nearby. I will take this action every day as ritual, and that will be my best.
These four agreements are living entities. They aren’t easy to follow, but just acknowledging them will begin to clear the dark clouds. If I break an agreement, I will just pledge to begin again the next day. My life may be a dream, but I plan to make it a beautiful dream.
Miguel Ruiz writes, “Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering.” My destiny is to be happy and live in love and to be a warrior. What about you?