The Four Agreements is a wisdom-filled book that is basically a prescription for how to live your best life and have healthy, harmonious relationships. It’s also a great resource if you’re struggling to walk away from a relationship where you’re not being treated with the love and respect you deserve.
Written by Don Miguel Ruiz, the insights that he shares in this book come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were said to be ‘people of knowledge’ including scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional spiritual knowledge and practices of their ancestors.
Here are the Four Agreements:
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.
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 completely 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.
These four codes really get to the heart of many emotional struggles we face on a daily basis and behaviors that seem impossible to break. But Ruiz writes in such a profound yet simple way that every other page seems to create a huge “aha” moment.
When it comes to relationships particularly, ‘don’t take anything personally’ and ‘don’t make assumptions’ are great agreements to pay particular attention to. So often in love, dating and relationships we place so much emphasis on what people think of us and their opinions – this applies to life in general too, of course, and can feel incredibly emotionally debilitating.
Not making assumptions is also a transformative agreement because it shows you how and why communication is the key to successful relationships and being able to express what you need and want can ultimately help to eliminate heartbreak, confusion and drama.
The following quote is simple but yet immensely powerful when it comes to healing from a relationship that isn’t right for you:
“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you’re struggling in this type of relationship. Does this quote give you strength to walk away?