Third Step: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Yesterday’s Agreement, “Be Impeccable With Your Word” sets the mood for the other three agreements. Being prudent with your words, positive talk to yourself and others, helps pave the way for you to not take anything personally. How?

Remember, people say negative things when they’re not in a good space, when they feel inadequate, and they try to poison us with their venom. Don’t drink from their cup! Deflect their words, their negativity! Right back at them! Remember, this is not about you. It’s about them.

Personal importance is the place in life where people think everything is about them. And most of life just isn’t about them. It’s about each individual in their own scheme of things. The Babe knows a lot about where I am at on any given day, but he only experiences it through his perception of me. He cannot experience things as me.

If you can not take things personally in the midst of a fire fight, you have it made. Truly. Let them eat their own emotional garbage. This is particularly hard if you grew up in a household with alcoholic, narcissistic adults. It takes more of a conscious effort to not take things personally. Still, it’s about them, not you. This one was hard for me. I’m getting much better at it.

If you react when someone is talking, thinking what they’re talking about is about you, you start a lot of conflict. Conflict over your position on any topic, how they violate you, how you’re too busy, how you think you’re complying with what they want, on and on and on. Back the truck up. It’s not about you. It’s never about you. Why do you think you are so important? Why so defensive? What makes you think it’s about you when probably three people in the room are as guilty as you are. They’re simply solving a group problem. Don’t muddy it up.

When you stop taking issue with what other people say, think, express, and do, you free yourself of a whole bunch of negative behaviors. Envy is gone. Your jealousy and anger are gone, too. Wouldn’t that be nice? You no longer react. You don’t get angry. What a difference in everyone’s life, especially yours.

This is short, but has much food for thought. No, we won’t master these overnight. I think they make perfect sense towards living a better life, don’t you? There will be two more blogs about the last two agreements, tomorrow and Friday. Then I can let you in on a couple things that are pretty exciting. Life is getting better every day. Hope yours is too. See you tomorrow.

Second Step: Be Vigilant.

Yesterday, we talked about resisting the temptation to lollygag, not beginning our tasks or behavior changes. Once we decide to dig in and do something, we need to be aware, it can be human nature, in general, to let our new schedule, resolve, or whatever you want to call it, slide. “Just this once, it won’t hurt,” “No one will know,” “I deserve this.”

To the contrary; it will hurt, you will know, and you also deserve to have positive habits in your life. Do you want to get things done or let them go? It’s up to you. Your choice. No one else’s. Aren’t you better than that?

Compromising when you are just starting out just sets you up to fail. Keeping discipline for at least 21 days is the only way to begin changing a bad habit, changing policy in an organization for the better, or meeting a personal goal. That’s one reason why I blog every day. It’s important to write every day. It becomes a habit then. Some days, I have skipped, and I know I need to start over. Some days it’s not as good as others. I know that. Some days it’s very good and feels that way, too. When I can arrange words, thoughts, and feelings to leave me feeling good, I know I’ve used my ability well. It’s something God gives us, and we should use whatever the ability is.

This is another reason I’m excited to get back to THE Virtual Quilting Bee Facebook group. It will set me back on the creative path of quilting, which I’ve missed so much. Creativity comes from me in several different ways; and I still want to learn drawing and painting. With cutting back on our volunteering, the Babe and I will have time for home, each other, and other things we love. It’s a hard decision to make, but it’s time.

It’s amazing how things all lay out to mean more when you put them together. With what I’ve said so far, and yesterday, I see how these things fit so well into the teachings of the book, “The Four Agreements.” It is a Toltec Wisdom Book, written by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book was written in 1997. It amazes me I haven’t come across it before. I know why, though. It is at this moment in my life that the concepts in this book will make sense to me. Things happen the way they do for a reason. I believe in this.

That’s why I felt so impacted by the First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word.

Now, that doesn’t so hard, does it?

Ruiz tells us about the power of the word. We speak and we can either empower growth and progress or we can destroy and devastate. It’s our choice. Did you think you have that much power? I sure didn’t think I did.

When we are honest, have integrity, and speak our truth we honor not only others but ourselves. Impeccability means “without sin.” While no human is perfect, what we need to try and do is not use our words to diminish another. Telling a child they’re fat, stupid, ugly, or no good will make them believe they are indeed fat, stupid, ugly, and no good. The adult was not impeccable with their word.

Conversely, another person may tell the child they’re just right, smart, handsome, and wonderful. How differently that child will carry on!

At our 50th Class Reunion this summer, I was a little surprised at how nice all the girls were. As a nervous teenager, I didn’t think anyone liked me. No boys asked me out at all. My first husband already graduated by the time we dated. The words to me were fat, incapable, not very smart, and one who wouldn’t listen to my mother. All that comes back sometimes. Dad was all for letting us figure things out. Mom said, “No use going to college, you’ll never finish. I’m sure you’ll get married before you could graduate.” End of discussion.

My words were wrong. The girls really did like me, they sure welcomed me that night last summer. How different things could have been! The whole idea of sin is what religions thrive on. A sin is anything against ourselves. Being impeccable acknowledges when we do wrong, and we take responsible for what we’ve done. Blaming and judging is absent. Nothing good comes from that.

Many of us have learned to lie to ourselves, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. When we are honest with ourselves, we are impeccable, we experience growth and good. When we are not, we experience death and evil. It may sound harsh, but if we use our word to spread ill will, we are living in hell. If we are impeccable with our word, using our word to spread love, hope, faith, and light, we are living in the most heavenly place there can be on earth. Wouldn’t that be spectacular?

The continuation of lies, inaccurate descriptions of us, and living in hell is avoidable. Only use kind words on yourself and others. Create harmony instead of strife. Create love instead of hate. Live in heaven. Love in heaven. Love yourself. Love others.

The worst use of the word is gossip. Nothing destroys good relationships, good working environments, and good organizations faster than gossip. From gossip comes rumors, from rumors come negativity, from negativity comes destruction. The truth shall set us all free.

Think of your word today. Keep it impeccable. Keep it civil, and heavenly. Make our world a better place. Make your mind a safer place. Be careful out there, it’s terribly hot and humid. And we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Integrity

I absolutely love Denzel Washington. Not because he’s handsome, a great actor, but because he is a man of integrity. He is so aware of the seductive powers of the devil, the world, and of Hollywood itself, that he will not sacrifice his integrity for anything. No, I do not know this because we are best friends. I know this simply because of his words with Will Smith after Smith’s retribution over a rude comment. It’s a shame humor is now so biting, so personal, so hurtful. I don’t consider that humor, especially when someone has a medical condition. I laugh at biting satire like in the Babylon Bee. Satire is biting, sometimes personal, and may be hurtful. I doubt even they would make fun of a person’s medical conditions.

Integrity is all we have once you take away the wealth, the fancy clothes, the limo rides. That Washington told Smith, “At your highest moment – be careful – that’s when the devil comes for you” tells me what kind of man Denzel is.

Yes. Truer words never spoken. Have we sunk to a low point when we, consumed by it, hang on every word? The media are abuzz with the story, the after comments, the next story. I find it embarrassing. I wonder what the people in the Ukraine think of us? Don’t even mention the people of Russia. I shudder to think about China and North Korea.

He thinks things through. He has such an awareness of the pitfalls of life; and he weighs options carefully. Denzel doesn’t get rattled. I think he is a role model for young men. Black, white, Hispanic, it doesn’t matter. A person of integrity stands the test of time. It never goes out of style. It never changes with whoever controls Congress or the Supreme Court. Being right morally and spiritually guides you towards good. It’s the right direction for our journeys on earth.

I believe integrity is the most important quality our children can model. Make sure you’re a good example for them. They are always watching. They are being formed every day. Children reflect their environment. Make sure it’s a good one. Have a good evening and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Thanks for reading.