The first agreement

1 Jul

Hello again – Kasi here. Time for another one of my philosophical ramblings.

But first, an apology from Babs. We’re hanging out this week in Illinois, near the Tall Grass Prairie area, and she’s been going crazy. She ate herself into a tall grass coma and is only just coming out of it now.

So, back to The Four Agreements. As we read through the first agreement, I was kind of surprised. I’d remembered “Be impeccable with your word” as a sort of keep-your-word and don’t-make-promises-you-can’t-keep thing. While that’s a good thing to do, it turns out the book was talking about something a little different.

The one thing that’s stuck in my mind all week after re-reading the chapter was the statement that however mean you are to yourself, you’re going to tend to be exactly that mean to other people. I know the first thing almost everybody is going to think here is “No, I always keep that stuff inside. I might want to let it out, but I don’t.”

Well, I’m betting you have several friends and family members who would disagree that you always keep it inside. We all tend to lash out sometimes, no matter how nice we think we are.

I heard once that whatever is done to you, you’ll do to other people. You might think that you won’t, because you know how miserable it was to be treated that way, but when your patience wears thin you’ll snap without necessarily being aware or having any control over what you’re doing.

So anyway, the “Be impeccable with your word” thing is really about not hurting yourself or other people by blaming, judging, etc. This isn’t to say that nobody has to take responsibility for their own actions; but beating up yourself (or someone else) for making mistakes doesn’t help anything.

It’s not easy to resist the urge to yell at yourself or to assign blame when things go wrong. But in the long run it’ll improve the lives of you and everybody that has to deal with you. So for all our sakes it’s something worth working on.

 

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