Formal Review of "The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz by Anne van Gessel
The way to true freedom is to unlearn, or "forget everything you have learned in your whole life" as Don Miguel Ruiz states. Throughout his book, Ruiz reveals the path to creating Heaven on Earth.
Imagine a world where you live a life full of joy, one without fear of expressing your dreams, without judging others or judgment from others, and one where you feel grounded with no fear of rejection.
It's entirely possible through the following Four Agreements.
Be impeccable with your words. Words are powerful and make an impact. Speak from love, with integrity, and with respect for yourself and others.
Don't take anything personally. Realize that whatever actions people take or what people say is truly not in response to their feelings or beliefs about you. It is simply a projection of their perception of their world. We all walk around in our own reality, which is a completely different world from the next person. Be grounded in who you are as a person, and be immune to the opinions and actions of others to avoid unnecessary suffering.
Don't make assumptions. Often, we perceive our assumptions as the truth. We make assumptions, sometimes out of simplicity, fear of asking for clarification, or out of a desire to justify being right. The way to avoid making assumptions is to ask questions, which creates clear communication.
Always do your best. Of course, this will vary depending on the day, whether you are well-rested or unwell. However, under any circumstance, strive to do your very best to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Your life will be transformed by living out these Four Agreements. There would be no misunderstandings among people. We are here, after all, to live, to be happy, and to love.
This is the real meat
With every book I resonate with, there's always one particular section that REALLY sticks with me because it is what I most needed to hear at the time. Within this book, it was the second agreement of "not taking anything personally".
By default, I AM ALWAYS taking things personally, thinking someone is saying or doing something that has to do with me, which stems from my deep inner fear that I'm not good enough.
This leads to me being sad, thinking I am bad, or I did/said something wrong to offend someone else. To avoid doing this all the time I have had to make the consistent choice not to react or take it personally, reminding myself that it really isn't about me. Even in times when it really does seem like it's about me, I ask myself, "What can I do about it?" And take the actions I can take, and practice letting it go.
Together, let's create a Heaven on Earth, where we live as who we really are, the human spirit.
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