"The Four Agreements: 1. Be impeccable with your word; 2. Don’t take anything personally; 3. Don’t make assumptions; 4. Always do your best. ” --Don Miguel Ruiz
There are certain quotes that come back to me again and again. This one - not so much a quote as a recipe for living - is one of those and it seems particularly appropriate to review it as Christmas week looms.
#2 especially has been on my mind today: Don't Take Anything Personally.
My guides have reminded me of this agreement at exactly the moment I needed it most over the past couple of weeks. When someone I am around is in a bad mood, my first instinct is to think they are mad at me or that I did something to cause their bad mood. How insane is this?
Because of this agreement, instead of reacting to what I presume to be their anger at me, I have asked myself this question:
What if their bad mood has nothing to do with me?
Just asking this question wakes me up and makes me realize that while there is a small possibility I have done something to make this person mad, it is much more likely that they are tired or had a fight with their spouse or are worried about their job or stressed out about the holidays. And this saves so much time and energy.
I don't have to spin out in a whirlwind of thoughts about what I could have done. I don't have to launch into a mental defense of my actions. I don't have to feel the negative emotions that my monkey mind creates.
Instead I can focus on #4 Doing My Best. To meet them where they are, to not let their bad mood spread and to treat them with lovingkindness in hopes that this will help assuage whatever hurts they are carrying.
If you are interested in learning more about the Four Agreements, there is a great overview here. Try them out this holiday season and let me know how they work for you!
[ Join me in 30 Days of Forgiveness starting January 2nd, 2014! "To err is human; to forgive, divine." (Alexander Pope)]