This month, I chose to read the book "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom," (A Toltec Wisdom Book, by Don Miguel Ruiz.
With Letters to God Season 2, Where I Hide, being released October 1st, I figured this book would be great in starting this journey together by identifying where we hide or run to when we begin to feel uncomfortable. Where do we turn when we begin to feel consumed by the chaos? How can we recognize our patterns and triggers so that instead of running to what will temporarily make us feel stable, we learn to shelter and hide in our faith? What agreements have we made with ourselves that are not aligned with whom God created us to become, and what new agreements can we make moving forward to be on the path to our highest purpose?
What are four, new agreements I can start to make?
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."
Did you know the word "peccable" in Latin translates to being liable or prone to sin: susceptible to temptation a frail? "
"Im" means "without."
So together, be impeccable with your word, means to speak without sin. I touched on this topic in Season 1: Episode 20 Sticks and Stones.
Our words have the power to lift someone up or haunt someone for the rest of their life, so be careful what you say to others and be careful in how you speak to yourself. But think about that - our words have the power to create or to destroy. Your words go much further than you realize. It is your strongest weapon if you use it righteously.
The Bible says, "the tongue is like the rudder to a ship steered by wherever the pilot wants to go."
You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head; be kind to yourself. 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."
I found this agreement shifted my mindset the most. Don Miguel Ruiz argues that if someone says something to offend you and you own that truth, it is actually the most selfish thing you can do. Yes, read that again - I know I had to.
His reasoning is that if someone projects however they are feeling onto you, and you take ownership of that truth, it is not that the other person actually means what they say to you, you are upset because some part of you believes that to actually be true; somewhere along the line that is an agreement that you made with yourself that you need to break.
Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of reality. Every human being has a belief system that they utilize, and it is through this mechanism that we individually, “make sense” of the world around us.
Part of my path and walk in my faith has in all honesty been reflecting on what I believe about myself and why I believe that to be true. When did I adopt that belief? Is this something I should be taking "ownership," of and paring with my identity or does this have absolutely nothing to do with me? However, not taking anything personally can feel like a double-edged sword. It is hard not to crawl back to what feels comfortable because you fear you won't be heard or come off as not accountable. How do you set boundaries without coming off as cold? This leads me to the third agreement.
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."
Our brains need to justify to explain and understand everything in order to feel safe. The problem is, there are so many things the reasoning mind cannot explain.
"If others tell us something we make assumptions."
If they don’t tell us something, we make assumptions. Being busy doesn't always equate to productivity? Sometimes we create our own chaos and create our own assumptions to fulfill our need to know and replace our need to communicate.
Without even being aware, we have created communication agreements.
At some point, we have agreed that it is not safe to ask questions.
These assumptions take on a life of their own because we then assume that:
Everyone sees life the way we do.
Everyone thinks the way we think.
Everyone feels the way we feel.
Everyone judges the way we judge.
Everyone abuses the way we abuse.
The true fear is rooted in being ourselves around others.
"Because we think everyone will judge us, victimize us, blame us, and abuse us the way we do to ourselves, so before we give a chance for others to reject us, we have already rejected ourselves."
We overestimate or underestimate ourselves because we have never had the courage or taken the time to intentionally ask ourselves questions or answer them.
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.”
Better is subjective. I have said so many times to myself, "Well, I should be here by now...." For whatever that "here" represents for you in your path - take a second to remember how far you have come to be here today. You are still standing. Think about that. Practice excellence in all that you do and always do your best, but leave your self-made timeline and pride behind and let God do the rest.
For previous books, please visit: The Library of Lifelong Learning.
To get inspired, please visit: www.letterstogod.online/get-inspired
Let's continue to be better together!