Sunday, April 5, 2009
This Book Truly Changed My Life...
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz was recommended to me by a woman I know who is a counselor. As she put it, if she could make every human being read this book, she would. Well, with a recommendation like that, I was intrigued. I got a copy of the book a year ago and read it right away. It is a small book, but it is truly powerful. Basically, there are four agreements you need to agree to abide by and everything from your relationship with God to your relationship with people will be better. It is not all new-agey like A New Earth (which, I confess, I couldn't get through). It is just simply a way to get along.
Quoted from the inside cover:
The Four Agreements
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.
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.
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.
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.
Look at the last two: Don't make assumptions and always do your best, even as you acknowledge your best will be different all the time. Aren't those powerful?
What about having the freedom to let go of responsibility for other people's actions? So-and-so was rude? Have compassion for whatever they might be going through instead of taking it personally.
Finally, think about speaking impeccably. Do you do that? All these things tie together and as I've learned to live more and more by the Four Agreements, my life has had less conflict and less drama than ever before.