From an early age, I remember being diligent about following the rules. I wanted to do things “right” and never get in trouble. I was great at following agreements, whether one called them "Commandments" or "rules" or something else entirely.
Thus began my work of making agreements with myself, and eventually adding on so many that it was difficult to keep them all.
Maybe this is why The Four Agreements speaks to me. I felt burdened by the heaviness of too many agreements, most of which I made to keep those around me happy because I was such a “good girl.” I know personally of what Ruiz speaks when he writes:
"We have many agreements that make us suffer, that make us fail at life. If you want to life a life of joy and fullfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power. The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain energy."
Perhaps some do not understand that this book is a guide. If we follow the advice of the Four Agreements, we can “break those agreements that come from fear and deplete our energy.” I have composed my favorite wisdom beyond just the Four Agreements because I know this guidebook works to help us transform our lives.
This book feels like I am given permission to be myself without apology. Applying it to daily life requires constantly renewing trust in my own intuition.
At first, this was hard, but eventually I started to break down my old habits. I had made agreements that put other people’s wants and needs before my own. I use The Four Agreements as a tool to keep me on the path of listening to how best to take care of my own heart. I have gained back the power to say Yes to my way of living without being stalled by others judgements.
If I can do it, so can you. Start by looking with gentle awareness at the kind of relationship you have with yourself. “Share your love…beginning with yourself. Tell yourself how wonderful you are, how great you are. Tell yourself how much you love yourself. Break all those teeny, tiny agreements that make you suffer” (pg 45).
My sign-off mantra in every article I write for you echoes just this sentiment. It affirms that we deserve to be happy.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Here are some of my favorite passages from The Four Agreements.
1. If you live without fear, if you love, it is logical that you will feel good. When you feel good, it is logical that everything around you is good. When everything around you is great, everything makes you happy. You are loving everything that is around you, because you are loving yourself. Because you like the way you are. Because you are content with you. Because you are happy with your life. You are happy with the movie that you are producing, happy with your agreements with life. You are at peace, you are happy. (pg 53)
2. You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead, you will only grow tired, miss the point, and you won’t enjoy your life. Do your best and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love and be happy. (pg 78)
3. Awareness is always the first step because if you are not aware, there is nothing you can change. (pg 99)
4. The next step is to develop awareness of all the self-limiting, fear-based beliefs that make you unhappy. You take an inventory of all that you believe and through this process you begin the transformation. The Toltecs called this the Art of Transformation, and it’s a whole mastery. You achieve the Mastery of Transformation by changing the fear-based agreements that make you suffer, and reprogramming your own mind, in your own way. (pg 107)
5. The human mind is like a fertile ground where seeds are continually being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas, and concepts. You plant a seed, a thought, and it grows. The word is like a seed and the human mind is so fertile! What is important is to see which kinds of seeds our mind is fertile for, and to prepare it to receive the seeds of love. (pg 28)
6. Imagine you have permission to be happy and to really enjoy your life. Your life is free of conflict with yourself and with others. (pg 125)
7. We must forgive those we feel have wronged us, not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because we love ourselves so much we don’t want to keep paying for the injustice. (pg 114)
8. Imagine living your life without fear of expressing your dreams. You know what you want, what you don’t want, and when you want it. You are free to change your life the way you really want to. You are not afraid to ask for what you need, you say yes or no to anything or anyone. (p. 125)
9. Imagine living your life without the fear of being judged by others. You no longer rule your behavior according to what other may think about you. (p. 125)
10. Imagine living your life without judging others. You can easily forgive others and let go of any judgments that you have. You don’t have the need to be right, and you don’t need to make anyone else wrong. You respect yourself and everyone else, and they respect you in return. (p. 125)
11. Imagine living without the fear of loving and not being loved. You are no longer afraid to be rejected, and you don’t have the need to be accepted. You can walk in the world with your heart completely open, and not be afraid to be hurt. (p. 125)
12. Our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being our self is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our life trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else. (p. 17)
13. The freedom we are looking for is the freedom to be ourselves, to express ourselves. But if we look at our lives we will see that most of the time we do things just to please other, just to be accepted by others, rather than living our lives to please ourselves. (p. 98)
14. When you transform your whole dream, magic just happens in your life. This is the mastery of intent, the mastery of love, the mastery of gratitude, and the mastery of life. This is the path to personal freedom. (pg 74)
15. That is why it is important for you to master your own dream…Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. And you can change your life anytime if you aren’t enjoying the dream. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. (pg 99)