8. The four agreements seem to be common sense. Do you think it is easy or difficult to practice these agreements? Has the practice of one or more of the four agreements changed your life? We all live in our own minds and act according to our own agreements. Other people say, think and act according to what is happening in them. You may have feedback that rubs you in the wrong way or hears someone say something emotional, but you need to remember that nothing another person says or does, whether it`s you or not, never goes through you. To this end, Ruiz presents four new agreements that, if adopted, change our whole vision and transform what might look like a personal hell of serenity and freedom. Like language, we don`t have much choice in the agreements that have been passed down to us by our family or culture. All the agreements we have made with ourselves, whether we know them or not, are inherited from our belief system, and our belief system controls our lives. If you want to change your life, you have to change your chords. Through this process known as domestication, we have reached agreements in our minds about who we are, who we are not, who we should and who should not be. We have grown to live on the basis of the agreements we have made with ourselves – agreements that are born from the opinions of others. In other words, the life we lead is more motivated by the opinions we have learned from others than by those we would choose ourselves.
I have taught the 12 steps and four Agreements to many groups in drug treatment centres, and a subject that often comes down to people recovering from drugs and alcohol is their resistance to the word “surrender” as a spiritual practice. From time to time, there are misunderstandings, but it is important to relieve the weight of judgment. From an early age, we learn to do things that please others. Even if we look at what others think, it is important to be clear with what we say. Keeping our communications honest and clear will help the other agreements we make along the way. Representing yourself by the way you speak is another consideration. A lot of communication is non-verbal, or rather the way you deliver communication. Body language can be as powerful as words. Keep your head up and be confident.
“If you take things personally, you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflict. You do something big with something so little, because you feel the need to be right and to make everyone wrong. You also try to be right by giving your own opinion.