Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.   – Solomon, The Wise Man

My nephew gave me The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, published in 1997 a few years ago.  Let me share them with you –

  1. 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.


Words have power to inspire or put down.  What we say is very powerful, words have meaning that inspires actions.  Let your words always be honest, direct, clear and inspiring.  “And if you want to change how they behave, you have to first change how they think.”  – Albert Bandura

  1. 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.

People who have issues with you or don’t like you are that way because they have their own issues.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

He told me to read them every day.  I confess I haven’t been faithful in reading them daily.  They have lifted me up when I find myself sad or down because of others’ contempt or disapproval of me.

As we grow up we take the voices of people who were significant to us with us.  We may criticize ourselves in their sharp tones, and make the same comparisons with other people that they did.  Our experiences create a basis for general conclusions about ourselves and judge others as people.  Here lies the heart of low self-esteem or [self-loathing].

A young woman said yesterday, “Self-loathing hears instructions and counsels as attacks. Jesus does change our thinking with love.  I felt so alone, e mekedelial a chebulek ngak ma rengelekek, blaming God for it all and found myself at bottom.  It was the only place I began to reach up to Him and start the climb up.”  I replied, “I suppose that’s what Easter is all about… to die to self and let him rise in our hearts every day.”

God desires, not require, a relationship with us.  It is not a one-sided affair.   We are co-participants with Him, both in our relationships with Him and in our work in the world.   He does not pull all the strings.  He counts us too important for that.  To find without seeking, to hear without listening, to say “YES” without the possibility of saying “NO” is to negate the value of my seeking, my hearing, and my participation.  [/restrict]