I love the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I love it so much that I made my teenagers read it with me last summer as a family book club book. I feel like the 4 agreements presented are powerful lessons for all people to master.
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.
I have been thinking a lot about Agreement 2- Don’t take anything personally. It is a conscious decision to decide to stop and consider before taking action. It is so easy to respond to anger with heightened anger. It takes a lot more control to evaluate the behavior of another and refuse to accept the hurt being launched at you. It is pretty incredible though, when you do. It becomes so much easier to get above fear and unhappiness. Beyond that, we stop looking for reasons to be hurt and offended.
I wish I had mastered Agreement 2 when I was much younger. I used to allow myself to get hurt by in-laws, friends and others constantly. I held myself in a constant state of victimhood. I could not see that that their behavior, just like mine, was being driven by their own experience. I did not know that I could choose to be happy despite their words and actions. I know better now, but of course, I still get sucked into drama from time to time.
My challenge to all of you is to consider the Four Agreements and how you may implement them in your life. Your happiness is in the palm of your hand!