The following is an overview of the meaning of each of The Four Agreements, based on the writings of don Miguel Ruiz. I have found them flawed. Of course it is my opinion only, and based entirely on what I have learned so far in this life of ciaos. I base them on what success I have found by my own hands.
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 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.
My Point of view...
On the surface these thoughts seem inspired. But let us question some of the subtitle points for relevance in our world today.
We must ponder the true validity of these thoughts. Can one actually give their word to another we do not trust? A person who has had a track record of betrayal, or lack of honor? Shouldn't we trust but a few with our hearts?
Last night I saw a man who I have known for more than thirty years, with his son and new wife having drinks at a bar. Both of these men betrayed their wives and family by being dishonest, and only came clean after they got caught. Like father, like son. The long process to a final divorce was painful for all involved. Even the woman sitting with them, the new wife, was also responsible for this betrayal, pain, and the ultimate breakup of that family. How could they ever be trusted? Sure, the past does not equal the future, but does that apply to making the same mistake twice? Yes we have a heart, and from that heart comes forgiveness, but we also have an intellect. One of the spirit, and one to survive our earthly experience of ciaos.
How in the world could we not take everything in this world personally? Sure, we can make the wrong assumptions, and yes those assumptions might be erroneous. But if you have a standard, like love, truth, or honor, and base your assumptions on those, wouldn't your assumptions be more accurate for the reality you take as your own? You can, by learning, create your own reality. If you have a standard, you have a direction. So do not suppose for one minute that another standard would not include metaphorically eating you for lunch.
How in the world can we always be at our best? We are human beings, not machines. We need diversions like, play, sex, laughter, rest. and if you deny yourself any one of these, you are not balanced in mind or spirit. Yes, we can attempt to be the best at having fun too.
Seems like Truth and Love are ultimate goals in a utopian world, and worthy to consider. However, both are subjective. For instance. the truth I held so dear as an immature boy is mostly laughable today, as I developed in the world of men, and lived to tell the tale. In that process I have found agape Love the most impossible of all to accomplish, and yet, I agree it is a worthy goal, for a perfect saint among flawed men. Selfless Love, the ultimate expression of Agape, now that is a concept. I have searched for this Love, and there seems always an asking price for a good deed, even if it is just recognition. Try leaving a tip in the jar at your favorite coffee shop when no one is looking.
Sounds a bit strong, I know, but we must learn to survive in a flawed world. 53 percent of Christian women voted for Obama in 2008. Why? Because he was black? Out of guilt? Because he was cute? And right out of the box he reversed laws to make it legal to have Christians pay for abortions, and to promote it all around the world, even getting involved selling these culled bodies to stem cell research companies. No, we do not live in a utopian world, and yet we are indeed responsible for what we do. We are responsible for doing our own homework, as without that we can make no viable decision. It isn't about your fluttering heart as you finally want and need to find a leader you can identify with. He says he wants to have change, and yet he is not specific as to what change he is intending. Your imagination fills in the blanks, and you are responsible for what you fill in as assumption. If they had taken the time to study his past, it would have been very evident as to the man is was, and is.
So let us consider, who is ultimately responsible? Surely Obama is, and his handlers, but also the 53 percent of Christian women who voted him in, and equally so. Self- Judgment, self abuse and regret? Yes, all of the above, and that comes only after self reflection and education. Most often it can only be realized in retrospect, and only by finally taking responsibility for your actions, even the blood you find on your hands. Blood, that can only be washed away by responsibility.
The dissection and defining of these nebulous terms, these absolutes, shows the true flaws of this message. Words like "courage" "direction of truth" "completely transform" "victim" "communicate Clearly" "gossip" and "speak against yourself." Ask yourself...What would any woman be doing right now if a "man" had not taken anything personally? You would be starving in a cave, and there would be no fire, or even a skin to wrap yourself in. Other men, without your finer sensibilities, would have claimed you as their own, if you could prove useful, and most likely your child's brains would have been dashed on the rocks below. Everything we have become, from defensive weapons, the intellect, imagination, love and devotion, comes from taking life personally. Responsibility come from that.
Without taking life and the thoughts of other men into consideration, there would be no honor. It could not exist. Without regret there would be no learning. Not taking seriously what others think, do and say, is suicide on this planet. And then to confer total and absolute honesty? How in the world would that work? Say only what you mean? What kind of world would that be? Would you like a man to say, "You are a fat old bitch, and as ugly as it comes." No, men have learned to respect the feeling of others, and in the process they have transcended the reality of the here and now with something higher. There is an attempt to Love what is inside of another person, where true worth resides, and that will surpass the pangs of old age. We have a lot going for us as human beings, both men and women, concave and convex, two pieces of the same puzzling puzzle, and it is a survival technique. Truth can get you killed.
Men should revel in being men, and like a woman to be a woman. We have learned these traits for possibly two hundred thousand years, and in one generation attempt to destroy it? Stand back! Take another look at who you are in this world and your place in it. Share the best that you can be, surely, but don't make yourself a mark for those who are predators, and this world is full of them.
There are women and men on this green earth who are damaged emotionally. Men who have had vindictive women pierced their hearts, and victimized women who can no longer look at a man in the eyes, and they live their lives in an endless loop. There are men who like men only, and women who are the same, and they seemingly can only grasp but one half of the equation...These, and similar aspects of humanity, are the primary people who want to change the world to suit their own personal world view, along with litigators who feed on both concept and perception without regard for consequence. But there are men and women, who revel in each others lives, balanced and secure, and the oath they took at marriage is lasting and can endure. Pattern yourself after these successes, and not tear down what took a millennium to create. Fine tune, always, but celebrate the finer parts, and who we are as human beings. We are indeed beautiful, primarily because we have self worth.
Remember too, that the transparency that Ruiz is suggesting will make you vulnerable, and an easy mark in a world of evil and opportunistic men. You wear a cloak of deception, if you will, and that is liken to the spots on a tiger, the color shift of a chameleon, or the translucent wings of a dragon fly in the light of day. It is a survival technique, and it has served us for a long time. We have a well developed social armor, and Ruiz would have that dissolved. In the process you would be well controlled. Be careful, you just might get what you wish for.