The women in my family carry guilt and regret like you would not believe. In many ways, it is slightly ridiculous – you shouldn’t be thinking about something you said in 2006, at 2.30am on a Sunday night/Monday morning (as I was this week).
Personal Freedom – doesn’t it sound fantastic? The thought of it is absolutely liberating, how I would love to have better control of my emotions – to no longer be my number one enemy. I found my next book through a list on Pinterest or the internet somewhere, under the guise of ’20-something books you should read’ (apologies, I cannot remember exactly the context of the list, but it was generally along the same lines).
The Four Agreements (A Toltec Wisdom Book), by Don Miguel Ruiz (1997): A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. I borrowed this book from the library when I was feeling very down and disjointed, I thought maybe I could (as well as counselling and new medication), try to obtain knowledge on how to stop beating myself up so much. Don explains that Toltec knowledge has been embodied and passed on through generations, veiled in secrecy, ancient prophesies and it arises from the same essential unity of truth as many sacred traditions found around the world. It is not a religion as such, but it does honour spiritual mastery taught on Earth.
The Four Agreements – [Thank you to Jill Conyers for the images – via Pinterest]
Be Impeccable with your word – speak the truth. Speak the honest truth. Live your honest spoken truth. This is the hardest one to master and I definitely think after reading Don’s book, the hardest one to honour. It is the reflections you have with yourself and with others. Your word has the ability to permanently wound or lift another person up (or yourself). The words you speak, form agreements. What you say about yourself – becomes an agreement (you believe what you say). What you say to others is also an agreement. As Don very powerfully wrote – ‘the power of the word is completely misused in hell. We use the word to curse, to blame, to find guilt, to destroy. Of course, we also use it in the right way, but not too often. Mostly we use the word to spread our personal poison – to express anger, jealousy, envy and hate’. After reading this I most certainly will be more mindful of the ‘black poison’ I too spread both within myself and on others. Our spoken word becomes an agreement, the words/thoughts/message is out there. We all need to be a little more mindful, a little gentler and certainly more honourable.
Don’t take anything personally – Nothing other people do, is personal. Other people’s actions are completely outside of your control. This goes for actions and spoken words. Don’s states that we ‘take it personally because we agree with whatever was said, as soon as we agree, the poison goes through us and we are then trapped with this’. Just remember – nothing other people do is because of us, it is because of themselves. Just remember ‘whatever people do, fee3l, think, or say, don’t take it personally’.
Don’t make assumptions – As Don states and as we all know, we, as humans, make assumptions about everything. When we make assumptions, we then assume and believe this to be the truth. Don writes that all the sadness and drama we have lived is due to assumptions we have made. Whilst I am not prepared to blame all of my sadness and drama on assumptions, I ABSOLUTELY believe this statement to be, in part, the truth. The quote for this agreement I have noted is ‘Whenever we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally; and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing’.
Always do your best – Under any circumstance, just do your best. You cannot be criticised for not doing your best. Your best will change over time, and as you develop the above three agreements, this fourth one will also develop. My favourite quote for this one is ‘Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything, but it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy’.
So I myself personally, will be working on breaking my old agreements. I am striving for personal freedom, at the moment I am not free. I am not free from negative thoughts or destructive patterns, I am not free to be who I want to be, my spirit is not yet free.
I will continue to work towards this though and if you, like me, every suspect your personal freedom is at risk – then what have you got to lose reading this book?
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!
Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!
To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels
To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB
If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest