Honestly, I didn’t love this book, but some of the principles it teaches are so potentially life changing that I had to give it four stars.
One important note: I read this in Spanish; consequently, some loss in translation may have occurred.
The book begins by explaining that our life is a dream made up of all the agreements we’ve made. Many of our agreements are lies born of fear and negativity and those consume a lot of our personal, productive energy. Love-based agreements preserve our energy.
There are four agreements which if adopted will aid us in breaking negative agreements and will allow us to use our personal power to rewrite our dream into heaven on earth.
The first agreement is to be impeccable with our words. Impeccable means without sin. Examples of sinful use of words are: negative self talk, gossiping, lying, carelessness with words, etc. Ruiz reminds us that words have power and must be used carefully and accurately. We should never hurt ourselves or others with our words, instead we ought to focus on using our words toward truth and love.
The second agreement is to not take anything personally. Anything said and done by another person reflects that person’s “reality”, not yours, unless you allow it to become part of your way of thinking. What I liked about this explanation is that it invited me to consider what influences people who make offensive remarks. Maybe they have some emotional baggage that is causing hurt in their life. It makes it easier to have grace toward others.
The third agreement is to never make assumptions. Ruiz makes no direct mention of assumptions making asses of u and me. He does explain that assuming creates a false reality, invites problems in relationships, and creates negative emotions. We assume because we fear asking for clarification or we think others ought to know what we want or think. How much better off would we be if we simply asked for clarification.
The fourth agreement is to always do the best we can. Action leads to fulfillment and happiness. Inaction is an attempt to avoid fear or risk. When we do our best we are content because we don’t feel guilt or shame. It’s about progress, not perfection. One day our best is different than the next day, but we can only be our true self is we’re giving all we’ve got in that moment, otherwise we’re hiding or avoiding part of who God intended us to be.
There is a lot of wisdom in these agreements. It is difficult to master them, but liberating if we do.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to find more happiness and peace in their life, especially those with low self-esteem.