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How 'The 4 Agreements' Changed Me

Updated: May 10, 2022

Reading this book was like a knife that cut right through my heart, it was so relatable. Surprisingly, it also offered an act of forgiveness to myself.

It was around 2007 when a friend introduced me to the book, “The Four Agreements”, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Recognizing that I took any and everything personally, he felt that I would greatly benefit from this book. Reading it was like a knife that cut right through my heart, it was so relatable.

At that point in my life, I was still a victim. I suffered through every day with cries of “why me?” most nights. I felt as if nobody liked me and definitely did not love me. When someone around me had a bad day, I thought I did something. When someone, cut me off in traffic, I thought I did something. It did not matter what happened around me, I always thought that it happened to me. I would tell long stories about this mistreatment and injustices against me. Because I was the victim. Poor me.

Ever since the first introduction to this book, I always had a copy of it in every office I ever worked in and still do. I see it every day, and every day it continues to be a reminder. And even though all four of the agreements are powerful and very applicable to me, it was this one that touched me the deepest.

Don't Take Anything Personally

As I journaled this today, I again felt that familiar pull on my heart. But now, it does not cut so deeply anymore. Because over the years, little by little, I started to play a game with my mind.

Whenever someone treats me in a way that makes me feel bad about myself, I choose to see it as a reflection of their own reality, because I started to believe that it really has nothing to do with me.

I go as far as, and also teach my clients, to pretend and imagine that person is standing in front of a mirror and the actions and or words that they are sending my way never reach me, but reflect back to them. Because it really has nothing to do with me.

“Nothing others do (or say) is because of you. What others 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”.

At some point though, it started to bother me that I “enjoyed” the proverbial “weapons” people turned on me reflecting back and hurting them, because that is not who I am. So, I started to add something to this analogy of the mirror.

I put that person inside a bubble of love, mercy and forgiveness. I understand that hurt people hurt people. They act out of their own pain and I pray for them to get healing instead of hurting themselves more.

Interestingly, this also offered an act of forgiveness to myself.

As on many occasions in my life, I was also the person who tried to inflict hurt on someone else, because of my own hurt.

Now every time I imagine that person standing in front of their own mirror acting out of their own pain, when I put them in a bubble of forgiveness, I also extend that to me and express forgiveness to myself for all the times I stood in their shoes.

Life can be a beautiful place if we make it so.

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