Do you ever wish there was some sort of "rule book" for life? I don't know about you, but I spent my entire childhood following "rules." Whether they came from parents, teachers, friends, I was a great rule follower! I was always eager to please, placed other's happiness in front of my own, and never wanted to disappoint or upset anyone. I was definitely labeled the "good girl" and rarely rebelled against the rules while trying to be that perfect kid. I had an image in my head of how I should be so that I could accepted by everybody. And if I wasn't always perfect, I rejected myself. I had a hard time not being what I believed I should be and wasn't able to forgive myself for not being perfect. And guess what? This way didn't get me very far. Instead of feeling full of love and happiness I often felt frustrated, defeated, and somewhat inauthentic. While I had the need to be loved and accepted by others, I didn't love and accept myself. Silly, right?
Well the universe granted my wish for answers and the moment finally took on a new meaning when I discovered The Four Agreements.
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the work 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, add you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
These Four Agreements help give me some guardrails as I go about my life. And you know what? There is so much less drama in my life these days. I always thought I needed the dramatic beginnings and endings - whether they were relationship breakups, moving to new cities, starting new jobs, leaving old loved ones with lengthy, teary goodbyes - all of these intense emotions! I always thought these feelings made life so magical - what I realize now is that I was basing my happiness in other people's hands! I was letting other's opinions of me craft my opinion of myself.
When I try to follow the Four Agreements I feel much more centered, in control, relaxed, and happy.
Don Miguel Ruiz: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom