Has anyone ever heard of the Four Agreements?
The Four Agreements isn’t just a wonderful book, it’s also a way of life. I think everyone can try to apply the concepts to their life.
In a nutshell there are four rules that we should try to live by. Humans have a tendency to make everything about themselves. Each of us thinks that we are the center of the universe and everything is about us. Sorry to break it to you folks, but the world will keep on spinning no matter what happens to you, me or anyone else.
So here they are:
“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.”
For me I think number 2 is the toughest. When I run into rude or mean people sometimes I make the mistake of thinking that it’s about me, or something that I may have done, it’s usually not. Most likely the rude or mean person has something else going on in their own life and is just projecting their anger onto others. And who doesn’t like to gossip.
In heavily populated areas as things start to degrade and earning a living gets tougher and tougher people are going to get more aggressive and act out more. With declining availability of resources we’re all going to get on each others’ nerves more and more. People are more likely to act out and behave poorly. Young folks, guys particularly, have this whole thing now where they have to act project a “hard” personna.
We need to develop thick skin. We need to learn to walk away from conflict and truly turn the other cheek. We need to control ourselves to prevent the escalation of a simple misunderstanding into a shooting or stabbing.
To keep ourselves from being drawn into unnecessary conflict we have to learn not to take things personally.
Apologize and back away. Swallow your pride and walk away. You don’t always need to be right.
And if you’ve done all of the above and conflict is inevitable and unavoidable than gut the bastard, bleed him slowly and bury him in a deep grave with lime. And shed no tears because you did everything that you could do.
Get outside everyday –
The Four Agreements and this post are all about developing thick skin. In other words we need to be like ducks and let the rain drops just roll off of our backs. Get the picture? Quack. Notice that Mr. Mallard in the right foreground is eating a french fry. We never through food out. Someone somewhere will be happy to have it. Please don’t throw organic stuff out in plastic bags where it can’t decompose.
Becoming better at anything is a struggle. Here my friend is struggling to stay vertical. Most assuredly by struggling he is becoming a better skier. Whether it’s shooting, gardening, sewing, cooking, canning, reading or doing math you can only get better through practice, sweat and struggle. Every blister is the reward for hard work.