Awakening pt2 (The Four Agreements)
In my last post, I discussed waking up and unplugging from the matrix. Waking up being a term for becoming more conscious and more aware of the self, the environment and life as a whole. It is an emergence of the true self and an expression of core eternal truths.
Becoming more conscious warrants that you examine your ideas, belief systems and preconceived notions, and choose more empowering, more accurate beliefs. Even though we are conditioned from birth by forces outside us, and the bulk of what we learn is false or only relevant to ‘The System’. Breaking out and relearning is not so difficult. The truth is always out there, all around you, you just need to develop the eyes to see it.
I’m presently reading a book, ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. He speaks about four agreements you need to make with yourself. Keeping these four agreements will help you live more authentic and free up your personal power.
A consequence of living in ‘The System’ is that we learn to modify our behaviour to get social acceptance. We learn to say the right things, do the right things so that we can gain approval and avoid punishment. What happens is that we create an image of who everyone expects us to be. We create a perfect version of ourselves in our minds that we try to match up. But because this is not really us, we are not honestly being ourselves, we fall short again and again. We judge ourselves for falling short. Eventually we reject our selves.
After domestication it is no longer about being good enough for anybody else. We are not good enough for ourselves because we don’t fit with our own image of perfection. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being what we wish to be, or rather what we believe we should be. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being perfect. –Don Miguel Ruiz
I can identify with this. I constantly beat myself up because I did not match up to an imaginary standard of behaviour. I had the need to be perfect, need to perform for everyone. Then in exasperation, I rebelled against the perfect image and decided to just be…how I am…where I am…what I am. One of the first steps was doing what I wanted. I stopped doing things I was expected to do which I really didn’t want to. Especially if those expectations stemmed from an opinion, societal/religious conditioning and not from an actual need. Other steps I took were ‘questioning everything especially assumptions’ and ‘not judging myself, but allowing myself to simply be’. I searched and still continue to search for better ways to live, better mental models and ways of acting.
Anyway, back to the agreements. If you can keep these agreements with yourself consistently, you will notice profound changes in your life.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
Words are extremely powerful. They are the cars that transport forces from the invisible ether into the material world. When a word is spoken, an idea that existed only in the mind of the speaker or in the realm of consciousness is birth into the physical world. It is given form. When a word is spoken it always has an effect. Words plant seeds in our hearts which grow and have extensive consequences. Being impeccable means being without sin. And being without sin means not going against yourself. Being impeccable with your word means using your words for you and not against you. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you don’t shackle yourself by judging yourself or blaming yourself for your actions. If you did something you did not like, simply change your course of action.
Use your words in the right way. Speak from a place of love. Love yourself. Affirm yourself, affirm those around you. Speak blessings, love, and acceptance. Use your word to counter all the false and disempowering beliefs and ideas you have absorbed over your life. Use your word to create what you want.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. How people behave to you is mostly a function of what THEY feel and how they are. Don’t take that upon yourself. When you are insulted, don’t take it personally. When you are praised, don’t take it personally. Be secure in who you are and don’t let the external environment sway you from that. If you take something personally, you take it into your system. You accept it and it begins to grow inside you. When you take things personally, you will easily be offended, and defensive. You will feel the need to defend yourself, to fight. You must prove yourself right and everyone else wrong. Taking things personally just invites unnecessary suffering into your life. This agreement is the equivalent of The law of detachment.
If you keep this agreement, you can live and move in this world with your heart wide open. You can say, ‘I love you’ without fear of ridicule or rejection or even the need for reciprocation. You can ask for what you need. You can say yes, or you can say no — whatever you choose — without guilt or self-judgment. You can choose to follow your heart always. In this way, you will always have an inner calm and peace regardless of what your external situation is. Nothing will hurt you.
3. Don’t make assumptions
We make assumptions all the time. Its our natural tendency. We don’t know all things, and in our quest to operate and fill in the missing blanks, we make assumptions. We imagine a version of reality that is not accurate. And when this dream world pops, we get hurt. We do it in every sphere. In relationships, we assume that because our partner loves us, they know everything about us. We resent one another for not fulfilling unspoken needs and desires because we assumed that they knew or at least reasoned the way we do. Don’t assume anything, aggressively seek to know. Know the raw, undiluted reality of life, situations and relationships. Don’t assume that a person will change because you love them and will make them. Real love is accepting the other person without wanting to change them. Ask questions, have clear intent, communicate clearly. Don’t make assumptions in business, in school, in anything. In the very least, be conscious of the fact that you are operating with an assumption and seek the truth. See with clear eyes.
4. Always do your best
Agreements two to four stem from agreement one. But it is agreement four that helps the other agreements to become deeply ingrained habits. Always do your best, no more, no less. But understand that your best will vary from day to day. Some days your best will be extremely high. Perhaps you woke up early full of energy and in high spirits. Other days your best will not be as good. Your best will not always be the same quality. But in every situation, in every day, do your best. When you are not feeling up to it, do the best you can, don’t try to push it beyond that. You’ll only be wasting your energy. If you fall and fail, don’t judge or blame yourself. Pick yourself up and press on. You have been held for so long in old patterns and destructive habits. Replacing them will take some time and effort. Practice these agreements consistently and you will soon gain mastery. Strive for excellence in everything that you do.
These four agreements will break you out of destructive patterns and the pervasive illusion of life. It will help you awaken to your true nature, your true potential, and start you on an incredible journey of a lifetime.