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Watching those words

© Another Day in the Country

Several years ago, my sister found a book called “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It was one of those mind-boggling books.

“Listen to this,” Jess would say as she read, “There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse and with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself.”

With that sentence ringing in my ears, I was challenged to begin examining the agreements I had made in my lifetime because those agreements form the basis of my personality. It’s who I am. It’s what I believe.

“I can’t do this,” I say to myself, “I won’t do that. That is possible and this is an impossibility.”

With my ever-enlarging set of agreements or beliefs, suffering occurs, goals are reached or abandoned, and my life unfolds. Which means, if I don’t like how things are unfolding I need to take another look at those agreements I’ve made and change them.

I believe, for instance, that each of us is born with a certain amount of personal power or energy. Any action that we take either increases our energy or depletes it. There is no middle ground. If we find ourselves feeling powerless, it is a wake-up call to examine those tricky agreements we’ve made with ourselves. I say “tricky” because all too often, under examination, we discover that we’ve made agreements or commitments without realizing it.

When I moved to Ramona a decade ago, for instance, I made some agreements with myself about the people who lived in this small town. I agreed that I would treat them as equals. I would trust them. I would be protective of and loving toward their children. I would offer goodwill and be helpful. Some of these folk I already knew well. I was related to a bunch of them. And as for the rest? I would offer them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were good people.

Are you chuckling at my naiveté?

Since we live and learn, in 2011, I found myself rereading that book on agreements and reminding myself that in the larger scheme of things — and according to the author — there are four basic agreements that will serve me well.

“Be impeccable with your word” is the first one. It may sound easy, but it is the most difficult. Right now, every American citizen, in my opinion, should be attempting to agree to honor this stance, for it is with our words that we create! No other animal on the planet can speak. As we humans speak, whether face-to-face, on CNN, or in the Marion County Record, we create a world, a stance, increasing either fear or goodwill.

I admit, I’ve become careless with my words. Having a little grandson following in my wake reminds me to pay attention to my words. While he struggles to pronounce the letter L, I sometimes get lax with the consonant and vowel preceding double L. Yes, I need to be reminded to not only be careful, but impeccable with my words.

“This one agreement can change your whole life,” the book continues.

Well, how about it? Who among us can’t be in need of a little upgrade? There’s a time change coming, why not add in a little life change as well, on another day in the country?

Last modified Nov. 3, 2011

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