Friday, January 30, 2009

The 4 Agreements

I have been reading The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's a study of four agreements (or spiritual laws) that are to make life a more pleasant and real place to be. To be honest, it was a hard read for me at first. I know I've re-read it several times. Finally, I gave in and purchased one of those "idiots" books on Toltec wisdom. It made a great difference in my understanding. I'm just not good with abstracts!

So, since that's where my path is leading lately, I wanted to share it with you.

Agreement #1 is: Be impeccable with your word.

That's a toughie for me. You see, what Don Miguel talks about is how we are domesticated from birth to see the world a certain way. We take on the beliefs of our authority figures. We are affected by their opinions.

For example, if you are a happy little kid and you're just running around the house playing, and your parent gets home and has had a bad day. They might say, "Stop running and jumping. That's stupid. You look horrible! Go clean up and stop being loud." As a kid, you don't really have recourse against that. And since that is a parent saying it, you take it to heart. Later, you may find yourself pushing away your happy feelings and the joy that you had. Your parent said it was awful so you must try to please them.

In essence, what was said really had nothing to do with you. It had everything to do with your parent and what was going on with them. But you took it to heart and it colored the rest of your life.

We don't realize the power of words. Words can bless. Words can curse. God (or Goddess) spoke the world into existence, therefore there is power in words. We take the words of others and file them away and live by them.

What about all the chatter in your mind at any given time? The Toltec call that "mitote" (ME-TOE-TAY). It's all the words that have been passed along to you. All the things that have been said and have affected your life. It's also your words to yourself. And it's the Spirit's words. All of them in a giant jumble in our heads. And we take all of this and try to make sense of it by living our lives to please others.

Now, you may say you don't live for others. But, I believe if you really think about it, you'll see it's true. I didn't think I did, but I live for approval every day. I try to appease my partner, boss, customers. The list is exhausting.

What the Toltec teach is to see beyond all of that, learn to control it, and live your life for you, a genuine being. We must push away all of the mitote, the chatter, and find our true selves.

You know how you pray for patience and things always get worse????? Well, this morning I made a commitment to try my best to be aware today of the mitote and to see how it affects me.

Oh boy...

First, I got to work and there was NO break or lunch relief. The store manager had scheduled one of the trainers who just hates to run a register and will, if at all possible, schedule private lessons so she doesn't have to do it. And that leaves me without any help on the front. Great. Strike one.

Then, I got the customer from hell. She was crazy. She was yelling at employees. Threw her invoice on the counter. Screaming the whole time. I stayed calm (amazingly) and tried to offer to get a manager. She just wanted someone to beat up on and I was the designated punching bag. I went to give her the change and she literally came over the counter at me, grabbed my hand popping two knuckles. I finally spoke up. I probably shouldn't have, but it pushed my buttons. And I spent all afternoon trying to figure out how to have her arrested for assault. Strike two.

Then, if all that wasn't enough, another lady came up and had her kid with her. The kid had dropped whatever sweater they were buying and she sent him to get another. In the meantime, my line is getting longer. A couple of minutes passed and she left the line to get him. So...I voided her sale and went on to the next person. She went ballistic. She screamed at the manager. She called me names. The person in line spoke up and told her she left the line. It was insane. Strike three.

Needless to say, I left work early. My boss joked he was going to take my box cutter away. They didn't take any of it seriously, but it put a crimp in my day to be sure. And what it did was take my joy. It put all these nasty words in my mind. It was multiplied by the Judge in my mind. You know the Judge. It sits in there and twists all the words and actions and makes you nuts over something. And then my Inner Child got feelings hurt and angry. Now that makes me a walking, talking mess. So much for controlling the inner talk and being genuine and walking in love, huh?

I say all that to say...The Toltec would say to ignore and live in love and treat with love those who try to bring us down. Live in genuine love, don't take anything personally, and let it roll off your back.

Remember the praying for patience????

Part of me thinks I should quit this quest now before it gets REAL bad! lol And part of me knows that a refiner's fire generally doesn't feel good. So, obviously I have way more to learn to put this path to practice. Way more.

So, I've decided that I won't have her arrested because that would be giving in to the anger and not showing love. (But I wanted to show her a good right cross!) And I have a feeling this is not going to be an easy path. It's going to take commitment and a lot of work.

I must learn to be impeccable with my word; not judgmental, angry, gossipy, badgering. But learn to be loving, caring, true self.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

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