The Four Agreements
taken from www.toltecspirit.com
Living the Four Agreements: A life changing Journey
In the best selling book The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Adopting and committing to these agreements is simple. Actually living and keeping these Four Agreements can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. It can also be one of the most life-changing things you will ever do.
As you practice living these four practices your life will dramatically change. In the beginning, these new habits will be challenging and you will lapse countless times. With practice, these agreements become integrated into your being and every area of your life and become easy habits to keep.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak 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. 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
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. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
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.
Understanding how to Integrate and Live the practices
Upon reading don Miguel’s wisdom many people have their eyes opened to a new possibility for living life. They get excited when they see the potential for happiness, love, and respect for themselves and their relationships. What they fail to see is the challenges and resistance the mind will have to live just one of the agreements. Don Miguel briefly mentions these challenges in his book, but people fixate on the four chapters with the agreements and seem to miss these other important points. This is often the set up for expectations that lead to disappointment and frustration.
During our early life, we began making agreements. Our parents rewarded us when we did what they wanted and they punished us when we didn’t. We also learned behaviors and habits in school, church, and from other adults and children on the playground. The tools of reward and punishment were often emotional and sometimes physical. The impact of other people’s opinions and reactions to us became a very strong force in the habits we created. In this process, we created agreements in our mind of who we should be, what we shouldn’t be, who we were, and who we were not. Over time we learned to live our life based on the agreements in our own mind. We learned to live according to the agreements that came from the opinion of others. In this process of domestication, it turns out that the choices we make and the life we live is more driven by the opinions we learned from others than one we would choose on our own.
Why Living the Four Agreements Is Such a Challenge
We have out of years of habit not paid attention to how we express our self. The responses that come out of our mouth are often automatic. They were learned from years of habit living by the agreements we learned. We do not consciously choose our words or the emotion, tone, and attitude that we express.
Over years our mind has filled with beliefs that generate incessant thinking. In all that thinking we have many assumptions that we are not aware of. We even make the assumption that what we think is true. We imagine and assume what others think of us and how they will react. We also assume that the judgments and self-criticisms we have are true. We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t aware of. These assumptions are not the truth. These assumptions and the faith we express in them is just one way that we are not impeccable with our word.
Through our domestication, we have also learned to take things personally. We assume that when someone has an opinion about us that their opinion is valid. Their opinion becomes our belief about our self. We end up having an emotional reaction to our own belief because we assumed their opinion it is true. We can also take personally our own opinions. We take personally our own self-judgments. These self-judgments are nothing more than an assumption. Over years the mind has developed many habits of making assumptions and taking them personally.
Just because you adopt the Four Agreements doesn’t mean that all these habits in the mind will stop with that commitment.
When you decide to change your life and adopt the Four Agreements you are challenging the beliefs you learned and the habits you practiced since your childhood domestication.
Adopting the Four Agreements creates a conflict in the mind between expressing your self Impeccably with love and your existing fear based beliefs.