One of the keys to a peaceful, joy filled life, is to surround yourself with people who encourage you; who inspire you to be a better person. When you find a tribe like this, you are blessed.
The older I get, the more I realize that it’s not how many friends I have that matters. The important thing is having real and sincere people in my life.
To me, friendship is not necessarily about having a lot in common. I have done most of my learning from friends who are very different from myself. They bring the gift of balance to my life, as I realize there are other ways to view things and various approaches to life that are just as valid as my own.
What friendship is, though, is a mutual respect between two people.
Friendship is wishing the best for the other person, and rejoicing sincerely in their successes.
Friendship is also drawing on-side of someone who is going through a rough time, being patient and giving them the benefit of the doubt should they slip up and get a little over-emotional and sensitive while dealing with a crisis or challenge.
Friendship is not manipulative.
True friendships are not made with stipulations (“I will be your friend as long as you …” )
A real friendship is beneficial to both parties, where neither is always the “giver” or the “taker”.
In this lifetime, I think we are lucky if we can find even a few people that fit this bill. The rest are mere acquaintances (which are fun and necessary too – but just not irreplaceable like a true friend is).
True and sincere friends are one of life’s greatest blessings.
Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends – Virginia Woolf.
Just finished reading this book and thoroughly enjoyed it! I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a positive and inspirational read.
It is not a long book – I was able to finish it in two commuter rides to work!
The First Agreement is: “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 words in the direction of truth and love.”
The author believes the path to peace and happiness start with the first agreement. It’s not that you have to be perfect in everything you say. It’s more about silencing the negative internal dialogue that often causes people to give up before they even try something. Basically, if you think something negative about yourself, replace it with something .positive. Instead of “I can’t do this”, say “I will do my best, and that is good enough.”
The author also warns against gossip and speculation about other people. Really, until you have walked in someone else’s shoes you don’t have enough information to bring meaning to or to make a judgement on their actions. You simply don’t know, so don’t discuss it. A lot of wounded feelings, conflict and broken relationships can be attributed to gossip and speculation about others. And once a relationship is broken – once trust has been lost through ungracious words and thoughts – it can never be put back together as it once was. And this is a loss for all involved.
The Second Agreement is: “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.”
I learned to appreciate this agreement the hard way. Sometimes people say and do things that are really difficult to bear. And it’s very easy to take these things personally. But, when it comes down to it, we have no control over other people’s thoughts, words and actions towards us. We have no responsibility for these thoughts, words and actions, either. Other peoples’ opinions of us really are none of our business. We can just rest in the fact that we do our best, and that we endeavour to treat others the way we would like to be treated – and leave it at that.
We should never internalize the behaviour of others towards us. It is the seeds that they plant in their garden – not ours. Instead we should fill our lives with good thoughts and positive actions – to have a garden filled with compassion and love. This way, we live life actively in peace and not as a victim or people pleaser.
The Third Agreement is: “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.”
I love this agreement! There’s an old saying: “When you assume, you make an Ass of U and Me”.
The Fourth Agreement is: “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 judgement, self abuse and regret.”
I love this final agreement, especially the fact that it acknowledges that your “best” changes according to where you are at on a particular day. If we are well rested and feeling healthy, our best is different than if we have had little sleep after having been up all night with a flu bug. Acknowledging this helps us to not be hard on ourselves. At the end of the day we can say “I gave it my all – did the best that I could at the time” and find peace in that.
The author also points out that we should avoid trying to do more than our best. The way I understand this is, we don’t push ourselves beyond our capacity. As a former people pleaser, I would often push myself too far and expect and do too much, coming away from situations feeling empty, depleted and exhausted. It’s good to have the confidence to know it’s okay to simply do your best – that your best is enough, and that it’s okay to say “no” without an explanation.
I would highly recommend anyone who wants a quick, positive and inspirational read, to pick up this book.
… I’m finally okay about it if you don’t.
After all, you have a right to your own opinion, and I respect this.
I also respect myself enough to know that I am worth so much more than to chase after the approval of someone who just does not like me for whatever reason.
The only approval that I really need is from me.
I believe this goes for all of us.
For me, peace followed when I allowed this truth to trickle down from my head to my heart.
It’s been a long journey for this former “people pleaser” to finally be able to claim this freedom.
Of course, I will always be a social person who likes most everyone she meets.
I really do wish that you like me.
But I also accept that this is not always possible.
And I leave it at that.
This has alleviated much suffering.