The Four Agreements; Post 1

In 1997, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz was published. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, Ruiz offers a code of conduct, known as the Four Agreements that promote a life of peace and contentedness. The next few posts will feature Ruiz’s teachings; today’s post is about the first agreement:

  • 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.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

We all know the value of giving someone our word. It can be as a promise, it can be spoken out loud or implied. It is often a felt response. This agreement reminds us that when we are speaking badly about ourselves or others, we fail to be impeccable with our word – instead, we move ourselves into a category where the standards perhaps aren’t where they need to be in order to feel good about our choices. It reminds us that we can decide to tame that critical voice, and to work more diligently to not become tempted by the tantalizing effects of gossip.

The first agreement also reminds us what we have all most likely heard at some point in our lives – “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Using our words with the intention to create an environment that is truthful yet gentle, kind yet authentic, allows us to have faith that when we give someone our word, we mean it.

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