Today I took a walk down memory lane before I sat down to write this blog. And by that, I mean I read through a few of my journal entries from years past. I wanted to refresh my memory regarding agreements I lived with for many years that kept me trapped in hard places. Because when healing comes, it’s hard to remember how it used to be.
As I reflect on what I read today in my journals, my heart really wants to skip ahead to the four healthy agreements without reflecting on the false ideas that dominated my life. You see, I’m not really all that anxious to revisit these places of pain. But here we go!
I am not loved. I knew my husband and children loved me – they had to – but I struggled believing anyone else did and especially, that God loved ME! I knew he loved you and you and you, but I wasn’t sure about me. I didn’t love myself and so it was difficult to believe that anyone else would truly love me either.
I am not needed. I didn’t feel like I held a valuable place in life. I perceived myself coming to the table, bringing what I had to offer, only to discover that someone else already brought it. And it was better and bigger and shinier and already in use. Mine was not needed.
I will not be chosen. This was a big one for me. Kind of like when you are choosing teams during recess in elementary school or in your physical education class – I just wasn’t the first one picked. There was always someone smarter, faster, funnier, etc. I hung in the back waiting for someone to notice me and choose me. I thought I needed something to offer and so I worked hard to find that thing that would set me apart and make me special. You know, the one you can’t do without.
The truth is these are all tied together…like a mass of knots.
In order to be free from any of these beliefs, I had to be free from all of them.
So one form or another of these lies dominated my mind, and limited who I was as a person. I appeared confident on the outside, but when someone really knew me, it was apparent I lived from a tough place of self-dislike and insecurity.
The “Four Healthy Agreements” is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. He writes that self-limiting beliefs, such as the ones mentioned above, rob us of joy and create needless suffering for ourselves and others. In a journey of healing, these agreements help to guide our thoughts toward safe places where we can grow and thrive.
The four agreements are as follows:
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 word in the direction of truth and love.
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.
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 transform your life.
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.*
Read: Colossians 3:12-17
I agree that these agreements are indeed ancient wisdom. They align so perfectly with so much of Paul’s writing, as well as Jesus’ teaching. Over the next four days, we will consider each agreement individually. We need to be critical, perhaps even skeptical, readers so we will tear them apart to see if they are indeed transformational concepts. If not, we kick them out as good ideas, but not ones we will use. But if they line up and are good for helping us be the best versions of ourselves, then we ought to be implementing them in our lives.
Until next time…
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.Numbers 6:24-26
*These were initially copied and given to me by a mental health professional. The source was not stated. I discovered they are readily available in many places but this specific wording was taken from this Toltec Wisdom site.