In Michael Ruiz book The Four Agreements, the second agreement is Don’t Take Anything Personally. This may be the agreement that we as humans make with others and with ourselves and one of the most destructive to our lives.
We make agreements with others and with ourselves from the day we are born taking things personally. As a baby, someone in our lives may continually tell us that we are “such a pretty baby”, “such a smart baby”, “such a happy baby” or in some cases “such a slow learner”, “such a slow walker” “cry all the time”. We as humans make agreements with what is being said and if we believe those agreements we embody those things and they become who we are. If we believe we are pretty, smart, and happy because we agreed and took personally what someone else said – this becomes our reality. If we believe we are stupid, slow, and unhappy because we agreed and took personally what someone else said – this becomes our reality.
In the Four Agreements, Ruiz states something over and over – Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. Read that statement again. Now say it out loud. Now make an agreement with yourself that this is the truth. Nothing anyone else says or does is because of you. It is because of their own agreements, emotions, truths. Not yours. It only becomes yours after you agree with them and begin to believe it as truth.
We make agreements with ourselves in the same way. The things that we tell ourselves everyday, over and over, we choose to agree or disagree with, we choose to believe or to not believe. Almost all of these things have their root in something someone else has said or done to us and we have already agreed, so the belief is already started in our minds. We water it with repeating it, with believing it, with becoming it until it grows into a tree in our minds with deep roots that are hard to move.
How can we make changes to agreements we have made for years with others and ourselves? First, we must become aware of the things we have agreed to and confront those that need to change. Second, we must want to change more than we want to stay as we are. Third, we must have patience. Undoing trees with deep roots takes time and work, hard work. And fourth, we must repeat, repeat, repeat to ourselves as many times as it takes the replacement agreement we want to make. Such as, the old agreement – I am stupid and the new agreement – I can learn to do anything or it was my fault with I did the best I could at the time.
Remember,nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. Don’t take anything personally. The second step of freedom on the path of the Four Agreements.
Until next time,