Deanna Mitchell/June 8, 2017
Today was a beautiful day in Atlanta, Georgia and God’s blessings were abundant. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the temperature was perfect! But, even with all that, the day just didn’t start off exactly as I would have liked … Someone said something that I thought was rude and unnecessary and … I took it personally!?!
Almost a decade ago I read The Four Agreements, A Toltec Wisdom Book, by Don Miguel Ruiz which describes a way of life distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word; Don’t Take Anything Personally; Don’t Make Assumptions; Always Do Your Best.
Let’s just say that I did not follow the second agreement of The Four Agreements this morning, and I did take something personally. I am willing to admit my weaknesses! However, during an open and honest conversation with a dear friend, I was reminded that I do not have to give away my serenity and good nature by succumbing to feeling fretful over someone or something that I never had control over in the first place! I received the blessing of peace from a dear friend and was able to pass it on in a calm and productive discussion.
These simple yet profound teachings are based on four simple agreements we make with our self. Sounds easy enough! For me, I think the greatest message I got, though, was to dismiss and let go of other people’s stuff! By that I mean taking into action that second agreement… don’t take things personally and likewise, adhering to the mentality of that’s their stuff … not mine … and I don’t have to deal with it. I have the right to walk away from inappropriate behavior and never look back! I don’t have to fix it, take responsibility for it, and most importantly, I don’t have to accept it.
Now, I also have to agree that we each have a right to our own opinion according to our belief system … BUT, that does not give anyone the right to impose their belief system on me, anymore than I can impose mine on them. Seriously, I have received an overwhelming amount of personal freedom from this agreement!
In the scenario mentioned above I initially did not follow the second agreement; however, on any given occasion, whenever I’m struggling with taking someone or something personally, these original feelings of discomfort can be exchanged for the blessings of peace and hope that result from an open and honest conversation with a dear friend whom I trust. Having a support system that I can turn to in time of need and to whom I can completely and thoroughly trust is essential to my own personal success in processing life and relationships on a daily basis.
I am continuously amazed at how marvelous it feels to work through a misunderstanding, and how rich the connection feels in the relationship as a result of the challenge. Yes, it takes commitment, and yes, it takes patience, and even endurance; but the end result is so ultimately satisfying! Once again, my breath is absolutely taken away when the peace and hope that come with trust replace the feeling of anxiety and discomfort that came with fear. There is no misunderstanding too small and no challenge too difficult to overcome and conquer. I am truly thankful for the gift of family and dear friends.
Excerpts from Nana Talks…Relationships, Remedies and Recipes
The Four Agreements, A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz, 1997.