Welcome to part two of the let’s talk about.. series, where I talk about topics that come up in books I read. This time the book we’re going to be talking about is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is a book that has sold over seven million copies and has been translated into forty languages, needless to say it’s quite wide-spread.
What grabbed my attention in this book enough to order it and then read it, was the fact that it talks about personal freedom. Now, freedom as a concept is something that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. I’m quite sure I’m not talking only about myself, when I say that feeling trapped or quietened is a common feeling in our lives. It’s become such a normalized feeling though, that I at least have started to accept that freedom is something that can’t be achieved. That it’s something out of our individual hands and minds, something completely out of control.
I’d heard a lot of good things about this book before reading it myself. The ways its message was talked about really sank in me and made an impact in my every day life even before reading the actual book. It brought up a thought of possible strength we have inside of us. Which, at least for me is something that has been a bit lost to be honest. It’s so easy to give in to the sorrow and horribleness that surrounds us when we live in the society that has been built for us.
Don Miguel Ruiz talks about life as a dream. We live in this dream that has been built to us by other dreams of different sizes. There are dreams of communities, of cites, of countries and of humanity and they form the dream of society.
“We are born with the capacity to learn how to dream, and the humans that live before us teach us how to dream the way society dreams.”
Now, what I’ve taken from this book and this message of dreams is that the dream we learn to live in as children is often a lots of lies. Before we learn to make our own agreements and know our own truths, we agree to truths that are from the dreams of others, which are often heavily influenced by the dream of our society. It’s words we learn through our parents, siblings and other people in our childhoods. As adults we often use our words without even thinking about them, without seeing the bigger picture. We might say something in a situation where we’re tired or busy or irritated and those words might be harsh and most of all, not even true. But when a child hears words directed to them, that child takes it as a truth. For example if words like ‘stupid’ or ‘ugly’ or ‘go away, I don’t want to see you right now’ are said to a child, what that child takes from them is ‘I can’t do anything’, ‘I’m ugly’ and is self-conscious for years to come and ‘I’m not worthy of love and attention’. And the list goes on and on with every possible situation a child finds themselves in. That is also the way children learn what is right, what is wrong. That is the way children learn how to gossip and to judge others as well as themselves.
As children we make a lot of agreements because it’s the time of learning. Don Miguel uses a term the Book of Law that binds all these beliefs together and we carry that book with us our whole lives. When that book is full of agreements made in our childhood and those agreements are something that is either based on lies or on our society’s dream or both, we are bound to feel a bit trapped. It’s not our own dream and it isn’t freedom for sure.
What I see to be really important in this, is to look at our lives and to recognize what each of our thoughts and habits make us feel. Because we can make a difference in our own lives. It’s not easy to go against our Book of Law, to undo those agreements but it is possible. Just as we learn things as children, we can learn new things by repetition now. The most important thing is to make that agreement be from your own belief, your own words repeated in your mind, not from someone elses words because those words aren’t from your own dream, they are from someone elses and that is not a way to freedom.
I’ve been writing this text over and over again because I feel like I always start writing the book again, only with my own words. I just think that the message The Four Agreements carries is so important and something everyone should consider taking into their lives. I feel like life would be so much more balanced when all those agreements has been taken into practise.
This is all about self-care. Letting go of old habits and things that aren’t something we want to include in our own dream. There’s so much about our society that I out right hate because those things are something so far from how I see or want to see life as. I don’t think life should be about hate speech, gossip, judging people by their physical appearance or capabilities etc..
Like the Four Agreements say:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
How I like to think of life is, you’re going to get what you give. I don’t mean it in a way that if you judge someone else, someone will judge you. Life isn’t that black and white. But more in way of if you don’t judge other people, if you start making effort in getting rid of the feeling of needing to judge others, you won’t feel over paranoid of other people judging you. One step at a time, you start letting go of the thought of needing validation from other people. Instead of using your time on judgement and seeking acceptance, you can start finding time to learn a deeper meaning of appreciation, experience and creation. You can start creating your own dream on your own terms.
As I said earlier, there’s so much in the book that I agree on and see the importance of and could probably talk about for hours. But what I wanted to bring up in this blog post is the fact that we do have the power to create a space for ourselves to be free in. We can work within ourselves and take things to practice that will allow us a breath of fresh air. It will take a lot of will power, time and persistence to work with yourself but it is doable and every little thing should be celebrated as an achievement because each little step is a step towards a better quality life, self acceptance and self-care.
Hope you liked reading about this topic and please do comment if you have read this book or have thoughts on the Four Agreements in general.
Wishing you a nice weekend,