Wholeness Healing Today

The Four Ageements: Mini Book Review

The Four Agreements is a book written by Miguel Ruiz. It is actually a little handbook that carries great wisdom for us as we journey through life. Mr. Ruiz calls it a practical guide to personal freedom and subtitles it “A Toltec Wisdom Book”. I share these four agreements with my clients, hoping they may find some guidance in them. I often find the agreements to give greater clarity and guidance to me when I am trying to decide how to maneuver life’s difficulties.

The following paragraphs are quoted from the book:

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 will not 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 agreements are simple but give us plenty of guidance to hone our character. Words have power and being aware of acting with integrity in our spoken word is wise. Sometimes we may forget that we have the ability to hurt and destroy with our words. We also have the ability to create and heal with our words.

I really love the paragraph about not taking anything personal. What others say and do is not yours to own. Others are allowed their opinions but you do not have to take it on as something you have to do anything about. Life is much easier when we don’t take personally what others may say.

Not making assumptions is a skill that has to be developed. Many of us may find ourselves filling in the gaps with a narrative in our head. These are assumptions. It will not serve us to give these assumptions any power.

And of course, always do your best. Knowing we do our best is a weight lifted off our shoulders. This is really all we can do. And if you have done the best you knew how in the moment, then allow yourself the humanness to know that is all you could do.

You may want to buy the little handbook to keep on your shelf as it never hurts to come back to it and remind yourself how to live with the Four Agreements.

The Four Agreements. San Rafael: Amber-Allen Publishing Company.

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  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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