Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Four Agreements

A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with my friend, Arlene.  During the course of our discussion, she recommended a book to me called "The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz, a brilliant Mexican dude.

Holy Shit.

This book was amazeballs!

This was one of those books that blew my mind and I hate myself for not reading it a year ago - I would have spared myself and many others around me a lot of pain and anguish.  

A few of the quotes that really spoke to me where I am:

“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn't walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don't need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”
Yes!  It did hurt for a while, but with each passing day, the pain became diminished and was replaced with optimism for a bright future.  

If I am meant to have love in my life, it will find me.  If I'm not, I'm totally cool with that because I already know what it's like to be with someone who makes you unhappy (both male and female).  Being happy by myself is so much better than with a warm body that makes me miserable.

BONUS: I don't have to worry as much about can I trust a new person in my life as much since I now see that I can trust my instincts about them.  After all, they have always been right.  I just need to listen to them.

When my instincts told me that people don't change that quickly, I ignored them and placed my hope in the unlikely. In the end, we wasted time and ended on a very bitter note all because I didn't listen to my instincts.  We are both poorer for it.

Ruiz also writes:
“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don't tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don't understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions.”
“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.”
YES!  Gosh-Darn!  This man is a genius!  Can we please get him out here to speak to the Atlanta lesbian community?

Finally, he gets behind what I was just talking about yesterday when I shared how I lost myself in an effort to please someone I loved:
“That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.”
I was talking to someone the other day who was telling me that she knew a certain girl she was dating wasn't going to be "the one" because she didn't like cats. 

Theoretically, if I had a romantic interest in her, I might have omitted telling her that I am not a huge cat lover. Although it may not have been a conscious decision, it would still have been a way that I diminished myself in order to be accepted by someone based solely on a desire to be accepted and not based on true compatibility.  

I know that the woman that I end up with will love my dogs.  And she may or may not have a cat.  But if she does, we will be so right for each other that her cat will be the *one* special cat in this world that I actually love. 

Why force a square peg into a round hole? 

Be who you are and the one who is meant for you will think you are absolutely perfect just the way you are in all of your analytical, rational, hard-rocking, gay male porn-watching, sarcastic, baby-crazy, otter-obsessed, femme-loving, gaydar-impared glory!


midlifenatalie said...

Sounds like an amazing read! I was perusing the internets the other day and found this article about grace. It was written from a christian perspective, but it was so dead on as far as I was concerned. It mentioned the whole making assumptions thing as well. That was a big deal in my last relationship. I said one thing and she jumped to conclusions and assumed all kinds of stuff that wasn't even true. I was the exact opposite. She said something and I believed her, even when I should have been questioning!

Oh...and my favorite part was the gay male porn watching. I laughed out loud!

Here's to you and yours!

Sinnerviewer said...

Thank you for stopping by, Natalie! It is hard to live with someone who can destroy your soul with words and then wake up the next day and skip off as if nothing happened because they said they didn't really mean what they said.

I have learned a valuable lesson about such people: they also have the same disregard for words when making promises. They have the same callousness when they will just say anything they think you want to hear but then not follow through. They don't understand how it undermines trust.

When you ask them why they didn't keep the agreement, they will become angry with you for even asking them to participate to begin with and act as though they were coerced into it.

They don't understand how being so unreliable violates the first agreement: Be impeccable with your word. It really IS important and goes hand-in-hand with the dangers of making assumptions.

Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment. Don't be a stranger.

Sinnerviewer said...

P.S. : Gay male pornography is where it's at! I just wish they'd take their socks off.

midlifenatalie said...

Oh my gosh! I think you just defined my last relationship! I am a lover of words and to her, words were cheap and meant nothing. She would lie to try to catch me in a lie. I didn't understand it at all!! And she was the first person in my life to ever say "Fuck You" to me. I'm sure others thought it, but I had never been talked to like that. It wasn't something I could get over. I tried for a year to make it ok, but her words, even thought she didn't necessarily mean them, were echoes in my head. She threatened to leave all the time and I believed her. It was hard to want to work on a relationship that I knew wasn't working.

And I've seen some gay male porn. That's what made me laugh. It was so much better than the femme on femme stuff which was almost all of the lesbian porn!!

Sinnerviewer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori Hahn said...

Hey - I was thinking about Ginny Maziarka today and ended up here. Imagine. Haven't been blog reading anywhere for a very long time, but had to comment. This book has been a guiding influence to me the past several years. Easier to do than I imagined and it steers me true. Glad you got as much out of it as I did.