Today I’m re-posting a blog (with a few changes and additions) that I wrote over a year ago as it is still the book that has the most profound effect on my life. I don’t think any other book has stuck with me in quite the same way. The Four Agreements fulfils a spiritual need in me in just the same way that Pride and Prejudice does from a romantic perspective!
The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz is a powerful book that offers us a way to live a more peaceful, fulfilling, free and love filled life. The book is based on ancient Toltec wisdom. This is ancient and powerful stuff and as relevant today as it was then…….in fact we have moved so far from this kind of living that it is even more relevant today. It had a profound effect on me in the simplicity of its teaching and at the same time the difficulty in adhering to what it proposed.
The author’s words are in italics.
Be Impeccable With Your Words
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.
Impeccable comes from the Latin and literally means ‘without sin’. Being ‘without sin’ in your words not only towards others but towards yourself. That means only speaking the truth. So each time you put yourself down (even in thought) you are not being impeccable with your words. Catch yourself each time you are unpleasant in word (and thought) towards yourself and others and stop for a moment and think. Try for a day to be impeccable with your words. It’s liberating once you begin to notice your language.
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.
Now, how interesting was this when I first read and UNDERSTOOD what was meant by this agreement. Someone is having a shit day and takes it out on us………..don’t take it personally. Someone tells us we look wonderful …………….don’t take it personally! Wow, what a revelation! Everything is a projection of their own issues and life story. Nothing is about us. This agreement strengthens me every day. There is no doubt this is a tough one to take but when you can get an understanding of it’s true meaning I found it to be enlightening.
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.
As the old saying goes ‘to ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME’. How many friendships, relationships and marriages might have been saved if we had stopped making assumptions?…………. Our husband, wife, partner, son, daughter, mother, father, siblings are not mind readers! Say what we mean and we stop all unnecessary suffering! Ask for what we want, never assume just because we’ve been married for 20 years that our partner ‘should know what I want’ and I’m sorry to say that we women are pretty rubbish at this at times! And whilst we’re at it let’s stop playing the martyr……………My name is Rebecca and I’m a recovering martyr…………I mean to say what a monumental waste of energy that was!!!
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-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
I love this one and it’s one of the founding principles of Best Knickers Always. Our best is going to differ day to do. THAT’S OK! We are not machines. Lighten up, we are human and that is enough. Some days we are going to be rocking and others not so much. Go easy on yourself, let go of the self abuse. Really.
What book sits by your bedside and has inspired you or supported you at some stage in your life? Let’s get a cracking book list together!