In his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about the conditions for creating our individual dream of heaven instead of dreaming of hell.
Ruiz says most of the things we’ve been taught from birth are to tame us. How we live, our decisions, our punishments, our rewards… By learning all of them, we go through a process of taming and what we are in is now a social dream. For our own dream, there are 4 agreements we have to make.
1) First Agreement: Choose Your Words Carefully
Ruiz says that our words are our power to create. Being perfect in the words we use is the most important point that we should pay attention to in this agreement. Not to gossip, not to lie in our communications, not to curse, blame, embarrass or destroy; The most important thing is to choose our words without using them against both ourselves and others.
2) The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
In this agreement, Ruiz explains that we should not take anything personally, positive or negative. There’s no difference between a friend saying “how nice of you to smile” one day and “you better not smile” the next day. Because the compliments he gives and the negative things he says are actually about himself, not us. The moment we make the agreement not to take it personally, a word said by someone will not affect our whole day or week and our peace will not be disturbed.
3) Third Agreement: Making Assumptions
One of the sources of sadness in our lives is making assumptions. Ruiz suggests asking questions to get rid of our assumptions. Others may not think and feel the way we do. We can clarify the matter by asking questions and keeping our communication open. Everyone has the right to say yes or no because communication requires mutual openness. We can reach communication that is attentive and detached from emotional poison by getting rid of our assumptions.
4) The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
The last agreement is to remember the other three agreements we made and add them to our lives with more practice. If we are confident that we are doing our best, we do not judge ourselves and we can reach our freedom, our individual paradise. As Ruiz said, “Live in the moment. Live each day to its fullest. Do your best to abide by these agreements. You will experience things getting easier and easier. Let today be the beginning of a new dream.”
Editor’s Note and Final Thoughts
In this world where we have to stay in constant communication, the Four Agreement rules are a guide for all of us. If we want to take control and change our lives for the better, we must make these agreements. When you get stuck in the past or focus too much on the future, remember these practices to live in the moment and be free. In the meantime, it doesn’t matter if you realize you’ve broken a deal, it’s up to you to change it. In fact, the good news is that your awareness is improving and you’re starting to get better.
If you want to learn more in detail, I suggest you read Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: The Toltec Wisdom Book.
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