The first book I read several years ago that had a great impact on the importance of our thoughts was “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz. The serendipity of finding that book came about so magically, that I knew I was meant to read it. I am a big fan of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres and Ellen was featured in an issue of the Oprah Magazine. As I read, I discovered that “The Four Agreements” made a big difference in Ellen’s life as well. The next day, I received a mailing from the One Spirit Book Club and they had a special on “The Four Agreements.” You don’t need to tell me twice; I immediately ordered it.
“The Four Agreements” is a simple book, yet it contains very profound and powerful information. For those who are not familiar with these writings, I include them for you here:
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 word in the direction of truth and love.
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.
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.
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-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Since then, I have tried my very best to live the agreements. The one that made the biggest impression on me was “Don’t Make Assumptions.” I had making assumptions down to a tee. If someone didn’t look at me the way I thought they should, my mind automatically thought they were either mad at me or didn’t like me. This agreement made me investigate the bigger picture. Maybe they had their mind on something and didn’t even notice me. (I’ve done that to people myself.) Maybe they were having a really bad day and just didn’t want to talk to anyone. Maybe they were intimidated by me. The question I learned to ask myself was, “Do you know that for a fact?” For example: They don’t like me or are mad at me. “Do I know that for a fact?” Well, no. “Could there be something else going on here?” Well, yes.
My next step would be to not take it personally. As the agreement states, nothing others do is because of you. No matter what it is. The interesting thing is, they’re making assumptions about you, too. And it’s all based upon their own beliefs, upbringing, and environment. It’s their own thoughts and you have no control over what others think; nor should you.
Then I would always just try to do my best, even with my own thinking. You can only do the best you can with what you know at the time. I’m still going to have moments where I think negative thoughts, I’m still going to let people get to me and I call them *#^% * (I would say these in my mind, of course), and I’m still going to have moments where I get really down on myself. But like I’ve always said: “You may not be able to stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest.” In other words, you may not be able to stop a thought from entering your mind, but you can keep it from staying there. You can immediately stop and replace them with positive thoughts.
Therefore, this takes me to the next agreement. Be impeccable with your word. As I’ve written before, I’ve learned to despise gossip. I’m also very sensitive to not bad-mouthing anyone. Yes, I have friends who I will sometimes vent to and they to me (we all need a friend whom we can get it off our chests), but I try to just get it off my chest and let it go.
I also try to find good and kind things to say about and to others. You’d be surprised at how you can brighten someone’s day by just complimenting them on something. I especially enjoy doing this to complete strangers. Or even just smiling! Smiles are free. Granted, you may not get a smile in return, but remember that what they think or do has nothing to do with you. You do your part, bless the person, and leave the rest to the Universe.
There is another author who expanded on the above, and that is Byron Katie. She has a process that she goes through to help heal people’s emotional wounds. You have a thought and she asks, “Do you know this to be true?” “Do you know this to absolutely true?” “How do you feel when you have this thought?” And the kicker, “Who would you be or how would you feel if you didn’t have this thought?” (I would highly recommend her books. Her website is listed on my blog of favorite websites.)
I do have to mention that I know some people will ask, “What about reality? Thinking positive and looking for the good is not reality." I say... Reality is our thoughts. Thoughts are our reality. It’s your choice as to what reality you wish to experience. Nothing has meaning except for the meaning that you give to it, and you have the choice to give it whatever meaning you want. I remember watching the TV show "Eddie's Father" many years ago, and the father told the son, "What a person believes, is." I never have forgotten that.
One thing that I do or don't do is watch the news or read the newspapers. I may glance through a paper to see the headlines, and may watch a snipit of a news program if it's something important, but other than that, no news. I figure that if something major happens, someone will let me know. Besides, I refuse to worry about something that I have no control over. This absolutely doesn't mean that I don't care what is happening, but if there's nothing I can do about it, why worry? I can only do my part in sending out positive thoughts/energy and blessings.
So, my friends, it really is all about our thoughts. Our thoughts will make us happy, sad, healthy, ill, wealthy, poor, talented, idle, and everything else that we can think of. I would like to invite you to be aware of the thoughts that are going on in your head. Bombard your brain with nothing but positive thoughts. Loving thoughts. Compassionate thoughts. Not only for other people and things, but also towards yourself. You are a beautiful, magnificent, awesome, and powerful being!!! And so it is.
(For other positive thought websites, please see my favorite websites.)