The Four Agreements — My thoughts
Edited version from my medium.com post in 2015.
This blog post is focused on my spiritual journey. You may see the film side of it, red carpet photos, film festivals and the like but what that has done like almost everything else is helped me focus on my spirituality and myself. I constantly work on myself. I meditate frequently and just got done. During this session I knew I had to write this post not only for you the reader but for me as a reminder.
Christians have their bible which contains a great many teachings in it that we all live by including myself, even though I am not one. I have my “Bibles” that I live by. One is the book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I love this book. There are 4 agreements that he writes about. With all that is going on and learning about myself, I lean on these agreements a lot. It is not easy, but it is powerful if you apply it. Lately, due to my own actions, I have had to revisit this book over and over to search for reasons for my actions. Remember, other people are just reflections for ourselves. If you see a strength in someone, you probably see that strength in yourself. Conversely, if you see a weakness in someone, you probably see that weakness in yourself. The latter has been my teaching point lately, so I am addressing that as best as I can. Now on to just a short take on each of the agreements.
First Agreement: Be Impeccable in your word
I love this. He writes: “Impeccable comes from the Latin word pecatus, which means sin, therefore impeccable means without sin. A sin is anything you do which goes against yourself. Being impeccable is not going against yourself.” I paraphrased some of that, but wow that’s powerful for me. Being impeccable with your word really means do not go against yourself. What is your truth? What is your moral compass? All those come into being impeccable with your word. I find that for me, this means “whatever I do, does it feed my soul?” That is my question as to being impeccable with my word, and I say this openly, which is not easy to do. I’ve had arguments and said things I shouldn’t have. I was totally not impeccable with my word. But again, reminders of this means I can grow spiritually and feed my soul.
“We are spiritual beings inside human form.” I firmly believe this and this is one my truths.
Second Agreement: Don’t Take Things Personally
This one is huge, but very common in human nature to feel offended when we interpret words as negative. The flip side of this, is that it also means good things. Once you can master the art of not taking anything, good or bad, personally, you have freedom. It’s so beautiful to practice this in person, in real life. It’s hard because we all like praise and dislike criticism. I think it’s difficult not to take the praise personally.
Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
It is pretty easy to visualize this, but in reality it is harder than it looks. We all have a “movie” in our head of how our life is going. That movie has our trials, tribulations, our deepest secrets, and our successes. Now, if you make assumptions about another’s actions, words or behavior, you are assuming you know their movie that they have in their head. You may know the deepest details of that person’s life, their personal tragedies, their triumphs, but really, you don’t know their movie at all. You don’t know their movie in that moment either. I don’t think anyone knows each other’s movie in their own detail. This is a tough one to do and I know I need to get better at that.
Fourth Agreement: Always do your best
I love this one. If you can practice the first 3 each day, this will come out. “Doing your best is taking action because you love it, not because you are expecting reward.” This is a powerful quote from the book. If you do this you will enjoy taking action way more than if you constantly expect reward. I’ll give a first person account of this in how I didn’t do this well. I was married in the 90s. My wife at the time knew I had my share of the chores to do for the house we owned. She thought that was it, Kelly does the chores. I did my best but I was always expecting a reward, even a thank you from her. Sometimes I got that and sometimes I didn’t. In doing this, I built up resentment towards her and it caused friction in our marriage. It really did. If I did all my chores for the sake of doing them, doing my best and on to the next one, there would’ve been no friction in that area of the marriage. This of course ties back to number 3 because I made assumptions too. But goes back to “perform action without regards to the fruits of the action.” I am doing my best to adhere to this without any reward.
As we go through life in this existence, keeping these 4 agreements in our consciousness as we interact with others and as we continually watch our inner monologue, remember how to be impeccable with your word, don’t take things personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best. If you can do those things, create those habits, you will find freedom, inner peace and true lasting happiness.