Four Agreements & Love Yourself

“Four agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of my favorite “wisdom” books. It was a New York Time Bestseller for over 8 eight years. The four powerful guiding principles are:

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

The most powerful part of the book to me is the following:

“Imagine that the human mind is the same as your skin. You can touch healthy skin and it feels wonderful. Your skin is made for perception and the sensation of touch is wonderful. Now imagine you have an injury and the skin gets cut and infected. If you touch the infected skin, it is going to hurt, so you try to cover and protect the skin. You will not enjoy being touched because it hurts.”

It was an ah-ha moment for me. It’s not someone else’s fault if their hugs are hurting me. It’s the wounds on me. If it is on me, then I can choose to heal the wounds with forgiveness and love. “Loving myself” was a foreign concept to me. This single awareness has changed my life. I am no longer afraid of opening my heart to people, because now I know they won’t hurt me, only myself has the power of hurt me.

Julia Chung, Ph.D.

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