As I’ve been reading, I’ve found the timing remarkable. The new year is right around the corner and each of us probably has resolutions on the mind. But this year, instead of new resolutions, I am going to make some new agreements! Want to join me?
Here is a quick summary of The Four Agreements which, if applied daily, will “transform your whole dream.” And when your dream is transformed,
“magic just happens in your life. What you need comes to you easily because spirit moves freely through you. This is the mastery of intent, the mastery of the spirit, the mastery of love, the mastery of gratitude, and the mastery of life.” (74)
Agreement One: Be Impeccable with your Word
This agreement is the most important one, and it is from this one that the other three agreements stem. As Ruiz writes,
“The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby create the events in your life . . . What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested with the word.” (26)
Therefore, let’s be mindful with our words — what we say to others and to ourselves. Let’s notice our tendency towards gossip and change direction, choose another way. Being impeccable with your word means not using it against yourself or others. Let’s use our words for their highest creative purpose: to spread love, joy and beauty. “The word is pure magic–the most powerful gift we have as humans.” (33)
Agreement Two: Don’t Take Anything Personally
This is a tough one for me. I tend to take everything personally! Many of us understand this in theory — what others say to us has to do with them, not with us. Yet, when personally attacked, this is so hard to believe. When a person criticizes us, it has to do with them and their own perceptions. Conversely, when someone praises us, it is the same. It has to do with them. Don’t take the praise personally. Don’t take the attack personally. If we believe our own self-concept with all of our hearts, then we can live life with confidence — especially when we are following Agreement One and being impeccable with our word. If we do this, we know we are loving others and living with integrity and grace. With this knowledge, nothing can shake us!
Agreement Three: Don’t Make Assumptions
So simple, yet so essential. We often make up stories without even realizing we are doing it! For example, my mom called me late last night and asked me if I had an old family heirloom. I was a little groggy from sleep, yet I knew that I had returned the item a few years earlier. Instead of taking the conversation at face value — that she was simply trying to track down the item, I assumed that the item was forever lost and that I would be blamed and everyone would shake their heads in disappointment. What a story! What an assumption! I was up for hours fretting over this tall-tale. Yet, I could have just taken the conversation for what it was — my mom simply asking if I happened to have something. I don’t have it. Case closed. A few hours of sleep could have been saved!
Agreement Four: Always Do Your Best
This is where Ruiz sets us free. When we are trying to follow the previous three agreements, there will be better days than others. There will be days we are healthy, happy and feel on top of the world. We will be spreading kindness wherever we go! Then there will be those other days. The ones where we are cranky, sleepy, down-in-the-dumps — you name it. On those days, we will do our best. Simply do our best! That’s all we can offer. That’s all we can ever do. This agreement is incredibly important in that it allows us to forgive ourselves and show ourselves a bit of grace. With this grace, we can wake up the next day, start over and try again.
As you ponder these agreements, I wish you the happiest of holidays!