The Four Agreements Pt 1 Agreements 1 & 2
Last Sunday Richard made some really important points throughout his message. One was something I have been speaking about for several years. And that is the importance of learning about who you are, learning about yourself as part…a very big and important part, of your spiritual journey.
I was really joyful to hear him say it.
And that ‘getting to know and understand yourself’ often goes back to your childhood. Sometime some of us do not wish to go there, but we must, if at least to acknowledge that certain things happened, things were said and done.
Doris Mortman said, “Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.”
And that is part of what Don Migel Ruiz’s message is in “The Four Agreements- A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom”.
The foundation of The Four Agreements is that when we were young we were taught certain things that we had no control of; think about it…did you have a say in what language you learned and what religion you practiced when you were a child?
We learned, sometimes through trial & error, what behaviors were good and what were bad according to our family values, our religious values and our National values.
And we were rewarded and punished accordingly.
As we processed all of this, we made “agreements” with ourselves about how we would behave.
We learned the rules of the world we lived in and what would bring us love and what wouldn’t.
If we were beautiful enough, we would be loved.
If we were smart enough, we would be loved.
If we didn’t cry or show emotion, we would be loved.
If we were the star athlete, we would be loved.
Ruiz says- “Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. …somewhere someone told us through their word, that we were not enough and we agreed with it.”
We end up judging ourselves and judging others in our search for perfection.
The agreement, and the power of our agreement is so strong that even if we understand the concept of it not being true, we feel the blame, the guilt and the shame that occur if we go against these old rules. This is our DOMESTICATION. We idealized normalcy.
I think this is interesting…In Tibet they don’t even have a word for ‘guilty.’ The closest thing is ‘intelligent regret that decides to do things differently.’”
We all have personal power, unfortunately, we spend much of it holding onto these agreements that were born in our early lives.
So, Ruiz’s “Four Agreements” are to aid us to break the agreements we made through our domestication.
Be Impeccable with your Word.
“The First Agreement”, he says, “is the most important one. Be impeccable with your word.”
The word impeccable means “without sin.” “According to the Toltecs, a sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.” (Just curious, how many of you had a reaction to the word SIN? Domestication.)
In the words of Ruiz “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.”
Being impeccable with your word is much more than “Be honest.” This is more like “be thoughtful about your speech, use your speech to build love and community rather than to tear it down, do not gossip, and do not speak negatively about yourself.”
Story of village man….?
Being impeccable with our word begins with ourselves. We all have a lot of negative self-talk that goes on. Self-rejection is the biggest ‘sin.’ That which we use against ourselves, we will also inevitably use against others.
Yes, we make mistakes, but then we need to take responsibility for our words and actions without judging or blaming ourselves. Learn from it, grow from it, and move on. Being impeccable with our word means using our energy in the direction of truth and love for ourselves.
WORDS have POWER! IT is a force, an energy you have to express and communicate, to think and thereby create the events in your life.
We’ve all seen what our words can do, yes? They can lift up or they can tear down.
Being impeccable (without sin) with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself and for others.
Rumi says: Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers not thunder.
Being impeccable is
- Building your own self up with the word.
- Supporting others, sharing love, radiating positive thoughts and feelings.
- Using your word in the direction of truth and the energy of love.
The second agreement is about the thoughts, actions and words others have about us and how to handle them. The second agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.”
the words of others…Don’t take it personally.
When was the last time you were really offended?
At least once in the last week? Can you think of the last two or three times you were really offended? I know, it doesn’t sound like the Unity thing to do. We think we’re supposed to forgive and forget instantaneously. But today I’d invite you to pay attention to when and how we are offended.
I have had little sticks of being offended when some people have left Unity without saying why. And then I stop myself and remember everyone is on their own journey and maybe Unity is not for them right now.
We can’t truly be free and at peace until we get a handle on taking everything personally. The moment we get offended by anyone else’s comment, we are no longer free. We are being controlled by the behavior, the words, the actions of others.
The moment we understand that what other people think about us is none of our business, we are free.
If I called you plaid – as you were walking towards me today and I said you’re looking very plaid today, how many of you would have been offended by that? Anybody? Most of us would not have been offended by being called plaid. Why? Because most of us don’t believe we’re plaid. Most of us know in our heart of hearts that we are not plaid. You don’t have any attachment to the word plaid.
When you take something personally, it’s because you believe it.
If I called you stupid or ugly or unworthy or lazy, you would only be offended if you believe it.
What I invite you to see today is that every time you get offended, you’re buying into a misconception that you have about yourself. We get offended because we believe there’s some truth to what they’re saying and we then go into defense mode. We close our hearts and put up our walls. We put so much energy into protecting the exterior; we don’t have enough energy to heal the parts that are wounded. We spend so much energy protecting and defending ourselves. Some of us have incredible defense mechanisms. So much of our energy is put into defensive action that we’re not taking care of the inner person.
Question, do you want to be right or free? Some of the most miserable people I know are right. They have been wounded or treated unjustly. They are right. But the question is because they know they are right, are they any happier? Do you want to be free or do you want to be right? Do you want to be reactive or responsive?
Get back to the Spiritual Truth about you. You have forgotten what you are made of and who you are at depth.
We are of God, we are spiritual beings, born of the universal love, the creative power. But what happened is we have come into an illusion, a dream, that we are powerless, that we are weak. And we have become insecure and we practice being insecure. When people reject us or are mean to us, we take it personally, we buy into it and use it to feel bad about ourselves.
The truth is the infinite love of God is always pouring into us but we don’t recognize it, we buy into the old dream. How many of us were taught to look to the world to get our needs met instead of looking within? How many of us were taught that we were personally responsible for others personal reactions to life?
What would happen in our lives if we take the energy we generate from being offended and use it to be transformed? What if we put our attention on truly knowing what we are made of?
Don’t take things personally –
We hear that and we can believe it intellectually, but what happens the moment someone says to you, Now, I don’t want you to take this personally – what happens to your heart?
Because you know that in the very next moment, the person is going to let loose an emotional lightning bolt and heave it into your heart.
So my question is can you keep your heart open and still not take it personally? Because the truth is, it has nothing to do with you. But when we shut our hearts down time after time, we believe it’s easier to live with our hearts closed and we’re so busy defending the outer, we don’t remember what we’re made of. From the moment we were created, we have been divine expressions of creation – the beloved of God.”
Now is the time for us to use the energy that we have been using to protect ourselves and convert it to energy used to transform ourselves.
Are you willing to stop living at the realm of emotions and from the outer and begin to start living from within, from our center?
Because when we live as the victim of other people’s opinions about us, (good or bad) it’s like we’re living on an emotional roller coaster. We can either live our lives on that roller coaster of emotion or we can get serious about our transformation at depth.
Every time someone says something offensive and we take it personally, our spiritual progress stops because we’re involved in the drama and emotion of the offense. We’ll never be free as long as we’re living in the external, as long as we’re protecting ourselves.
The only place where true freedom resides is when we know we’re created in the image and likeness of God – the image of light and the likeness of Love.
So I invite you to start monitoring what offends you, because every time someone offends you, they’re pointing out a wounded place within your soul. They’re pointing out an old dream. Now, you can try to protect that wounded place, that old drama or you can transform it, you can heal it. We can only heal what we shine the light on, what we recognize.
Freedom can only be found when we know God is our center.
Closing – steps
The Progression of remembering what manner of Spirit we are of:
- Someone says something that offends us.
- Be still, be silent.
- Recognize that our button is getting pushed. And be willing to look within to find the wounded place and to heal it. (recognize that it’s an old story.)
- Remember to open our hearts to God rather than to defend our insecurities and defects of character. Remember what manner of Spirit we are made of.