Several years ago now, I read a little book that had a major impact on the way I live and view (my) life. The premise is that there are four ideals we as human beings should philosophically agree to and in doing so we will be altered in the way we relate to both ourselves and with those we walk through life with. In fact I was so moved by the work that I incorporated it into a class I was teaching on career and personal planning. I've taught a myriad of topics but this I felt in my toes, that if ever there was a message we were in need of hearing, well, this was it.
One could consider this a way of taming our ego without actually using the "e" word. Or perhaps just as a way to deal with both the good and bad hands life can deal. It starts with 'I' and I have found that unless I am in the act of indulging my ego identity, the 'I' often needs to be confronted and disciplined for its reckless behaviour.
Mastery is a lifetime - well, if you're me it is a lifetime! and just this week I experienced both the first and second agreement most regrettably and shamefully. In a moment of frustration I did not use my words impeccably. And within the span of a few hours and much soul searching I realized that although the words were directed at another, they were really about me and what I was dealing with inside. Someone just conveniently walked into the line of fire.
So as a refresher to myself and hopefully inspiration to you, here are the Agreements as taken from this the author's site.
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 opinions 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.
Yes, words to live by. Namaste.