Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Four Agreements

And a happy Saturday to all.  It's a gorgeous day in the city...warm, sunny.  Would actually think spring had arrived were it not for the snow on the ground and the threat of another storm looming.  I've already been out, done food shopping for two weeks, and have 8 meals on the stove and the oven.  Just makes it so much easier for me on work nights...and in the years I have been doing this, I have become quite adept at it.  Why, I even have some liver stewing for Minga on the stove, but don't let her know.  She won't leave me alone until she gets it.

"The only reality there is, is what we tell ourselves.  What we believe, we become."
                                                   --Ruth Ross

I love the above quote.  It spoke to me when I first saw it...because it is so true.  We are what we believe ourselves to be.  If we believe we are lovable, smart, and successful, we will draw this into our lives, but many of us, sadly, grew up in dystunctional households.  We became adults who had no idea who we really were.  We grew up in a world of beliefs created by others, and we believed that whatever they said about us had to be true.   As a result, we grew up having a distorted image of ourselves, an image that causes us a lot pain and emotional turmoil.   We grew to be those dysfunctional adults who draw even more dysfunction into their lives; hence, the cycle continues.  I see this every day.  And, for a long time, I was caught up in that cycle.

Has anyone here read "The Four Agreements?"  Well, according to the Toltecs, we learn through others.  Humans are creators, but our power of our creation is invested in our beliefs about the self...and the self we see is not our true self.  It is a dream that has been passed onto us by others.  We are the result of what we have been taught.  When we were born, our mind was completely innocent, our minds a blank slate, tabula rasa, ready to be molded.  We had no concept of good or bad...right or wrong.  This is something that we learned this from others...and these are good values to have...but what about the others?  How many of us have been told we are not good enough...or that we will never amount to anything?  Sadly, many have been told that they were fat or that they were ugly...and now they believe that this is what they are.  And to compensate for these perceived flaws, many turn to eating addictions, drugs, alcohol, sexual addiction, or, as in my case, forming dysfunctional relationships because I had always felt I didn't deserve anything better. 

But, we do deserve better...each and everyone of us.  It's not easy, but it can be done.  It take lots of hard work and willingness to change.  To be beautiful or ugly is just a point of view.  To be stupid or smart is just a concept.  It is not us and is not who we are. The first step to change is to reprogram our thoughts.  "I am a good person."  "I am a beautiful person."  "I deserve to be loved."   When you start to put yourself down, stop yourself in your tracks.  Give yourself a slap to bring yourself back.  We are all good people, and we all are deserving of happiness.  Don't give up  on yourself. 

I kind of rambled today, and I apologize.  Trying to do too many things at once.  I've been doing some client work with Rational Emotive Therapy which is similar to and reminded me of the Toltec belief that our life is a dream which is made up of others beliefs obout us.  RET is about changing your irrational belief system into a more rational one...and had in mind to share, but sort of lost my way in the middle of this post.  Sorry


  1. SO easy to see why you're a counselor Mary...
    And I feel privileged being able to get the free sessions here (O:
    You and I have a lot in common. Too bad we live so far apart. We could talk for hours..

    Great idea on meal making. I'm just a hit and miss cook anymore, having only me to feed.

    Enjoy your nice day and hope the coming storm isn't too bad. We're suppose to get storms again too but this time of year, they don't last long. Course we still have November's snow on the ground! Makes for green pastures (O:


  2. Nahhhhhhhh, you didn't lose your way.

    And I'm glad it's really nice in the city. Because I have family down there, enjoying it. :-)

  3. Hmmm.... lots and lots to think of in this post. You sound like you are a wonderful counselor.

  4. Don't say "sorry." You made wonderful point in this post!

    It took me a long time to realize the mean things people (my dad) said about me were lies, and were more about them than me. It's nice to finally know that I am who I believe I am, and not who people say I am.

  5. Couldn't have said it better, Mary!

  6. You know, I have been complainin' about how I don't have time to cook in the evenings when I get home from work - and you just gave me a big fat well duh moment. ROFL I have three days off on the weekend I could cook my butt off if I wanted to. And that would be far preferable to some of the overly processed crap I have been eating through the week.

    Yes, I have read the Four Agreements, it was passed around our old tradition quite a bit and many of us even required it for study at the clergy levels of initiation. It is an awesome book, if not for anything else than for being a mind bender and pushing that different way of introspection that is so valuable in getting to know yourself in the world.

    I agree with the previous posters however, it's really obvious that you are incredible at what you do.

  7. ~always soothing our soul with comforting uplifting reminders that we can be anything we want to be...i have heard a lot of talk about the four agreements and all have enjoyed it much...i think there is a new addition The Fifth Agreement so i guess i may have some reading to look forward too...brightest blessings~