Friday, November 4, 2011


THE FOUR AGREEMENTS ....A practical guide to personal freedom:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

... 2. Don't Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opin...ions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

― Don Miguel Ruiz

from: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book

Day 52

A friend of mine posted the above agreements on fb this morning and I thought I’d see how I measured up.

1. I have always been honest, some would say brutally so, some would say stupidly so. I always tell the cap’n if he’s going to try and lie himself out of a ticket or a fine, he better not look to me to back him up, because it will probably end up being doubled. Now the gossip thing…I think anybody that says they don’t like gossip is not being impeccable with their word, in fact they are bald-face liars and that includes men. During my marriage to DH1 we had a pool table and a stereo in our basement and parties would usually start out with the guys downstairs shooting pool and the girls upstairs shooting bull. But then one guy would wander up and then another…all listening with big ears while they chastised us for our womanly, gossipy ways. I’m not proud of the fact that I like to gossip and I do try to curtail it but I have to take some points off for that.

2. Hmm, do I take things personally? I don’t think so. Do you think so? What makes you think that? Is it something I wrote?

3. Okay, I admit it, I’m an assumer and I always assume the worse. Every time I see an email marked “Urgent: Immediate Attention Required” I immediately assume it is from the IRS instead of some nice Nigerian prince that is going to send me a million dollars if I’ll just provide him with my bank account and social security numbers. This dire outlook comes from a childhood of my mother pointing at me and saying, “I need to talk to you later.” I could bank on assuming the worse because that was never an intro to happy news.

4. I can’t say with impeccable word that I’ve always done my best, especially when I was drinking. I think I did my best to fake it a lot, I know I overcompensated a lot to make amends but I know I was fooling myself more than I was fooling others. I finally couldn’t fool myself anymore. I couldn’t even make the effort. I know I was sick but for me that was no excuse for not doing my best, not if I had it within my power to do better. That is the reason I quit drinking. I wanted to do my best. How could I accept less?

In retrospect, I didn’t do very well on the “agreements” score but I will say I show improvement in all of the areas addressed. With sobriety I have gained a humility that allows me to be kinder to myself and others. My tendencies to take things personally and assume the worse have lessened because I’m no longer carrying around that mantle of guilt that caused me to feel deserving of personal attacks and tragic outcomes. I’m no longer looking and waiting for the next strike to fall, but if one does come, I will handle it. And I can give my impeccable word that I will do my personal best, no assumptions necessary.

So I’m giving myself a B+ for effort. There is always room for improvement. (that’s what the priest said at mass today).

So today I’m just out there doing my best to raise the grade and assume my Co-writer will take care of the rest.

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