The first printing of this book was in 1997. I have read the book and listened to the audio book many times over the past several years. The information Ruiz presents has been very enlightening to me, and has helped me improve communication and clarity in what I do and what I don’t do.
Many of us have not been raised in a culture that encourages the approach of the Four Agreements in our daily lives and relationships. For instance, in the culture where I was raised, I always had the sense that my feelings did not matter. If I did not say the ‘right’ thing, ie expressed my opinion, there was displeasure in how I expressed myself. If the adults agreed with me, then I was good. If they did not agree with me, then I was bad.
Ruiz offers a clear, detailed explanation of the Four Agreements. Here is a very brief overview:
First Agreement: Be Impeccable with your word. This is the most important, and it is the most difficult to maintain.
Second Agreement: Don’t take anything personally. Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of them. But there are lessons to be learned in these situations.
Third Agreement: Don’t make assumptions. We make assumptions about what other people are doing or thinking. We take it personally, and then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word.
Fourth Agreement: Always do your best. This agreement makes the other three agreements habits. What a way to be good to yourself!
Breaking Old Agreements is Chapter 6. This chapter offers a path to freedom from old habits and dysfunctional relationships with ourselves and others. Stress reduction comes with this also.
I highly recommend this book, and would be happy to discuss it with you. Buy the book or download the audio, and begin your own enlightening discoveries.