Every time I write a post, the focus is helping people to live their best lives. The holidays bring stress for almost everyone I know, but there are ways to deal with the stress and overcome it in the most beautiful ways. Using the principles in the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, is one of the best.
Have you ever gotten through the holidays, and they completely failed to live up to your expectations? Have you ever gotten there and realized you failed to live up to your expectations? What if this year you put your expectations aside and focus on being impeccable with your word? If you want something, ask for it. If you don’t get it, we’ll deal with that later, but without asking, no one really knows what you’re thinking. In The Four Agreements, words are magic. You use words to spread love and truth, which is white magic, or you use them to spread gossip and to talk badly about others, which is black magic. Black magic includes speaking badly about yourself and blaming other for your circumstances. According to The Four Agreements, how you use your words creates Heaven or Hell or even a happy holiday or a miserable one.
Nearly everyone has someone in their life who gets under their skin or who seems to enjoy seeing them fail. Has it ever occurred to you that nothing those people say or do has anything to do with you? What others say and do directly relates to their thoughts and beliefs. If we accept their black magic words, we get off balance. If we are impeccable with our words regarding ourselves and others, nothing your cranky in laws or very political uncle says matters because what they say and do is completely about them, not you. How do we do that? We practice forgiveness. Instead of challenging others’ beliefs, we see their anger and defensiveness, and refuse to defend or attack. Instead, we stay impeccable with our words and keep our dignity intact. Easier said than done? Absolutely! Worth it? Try it and see. To see how changing your language can transform your life, check out the post Change Your Words Change Your Life.
This beautiful agreement combined with the first agreement is as pure as white magic gets. It requires courage to ask for what you want and to ask questions to avoid misunderstandings and drama. When we make assumptions, we arrogantly think we know another’s point of view, what they are thinking and how they are feeling. We judge others based on those assumptions, so we can reject them before they reject us. By being impeccable with your word and refusing to make assumptions, we respect ourselves and others and might transform the holidays into a joy filled rather than joyless endeavor.
This agreement is a tricky one because people mistake doing their best for doing everything perfectly. What if every day during this holiday season, you did your best all day and then did everything you could to have your best day again tomorrow? What if you refuse to judge, abuse and berate yourself no matter how the day turns out? Maybe you pretend you’re a child. Maybe you pretend you are your best friend. Whatever it takes, forgive yourself and tray again the next day. Have your lists, knowing if everything doesn’t happen the way you hope, you have still done your best.
If you haven’t, read The Four Agreements . It’s 138 pages packed with wisdom. I first read it in 2002, and I wish I kept track of how many times I re-read it since then because each time I learn something new or understand one of the principles in a different way. They sound simple, and they are. Anyone can be impeccable with their word, stop taking things personally, stop making assumptions and always do their best. The key is to do that consistently, especially during the holidays. Have questions? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even better, sign up for our email community below to get 7 ways to reduce your holiday stress for free. As always, live your best life and let the rest go. Happy holidays!