(continued from pt. I)
The second agreement within The Four Agreements is, “Don’t take anything personally.” In this agreement, we learn that taking things personally can lead to negative feelings about ourselves. The reason for this is that we haven’t yet come to understand that the things other people say about us or to us shows us more about their character and reality than it does reflect back truths about ourselves. This agreement is also based on the fact that we all experience our own subjective realities which means that we often aren’t interpreting objective facts, but rather interpreting these facts through our personal lens of subjectivity which brings our own personal experiences into the picture and necessarily obscures the true nature and reality of what is happening. Not taking things personally will allow us to plant our feet more firmly on the ground and will help to aid us in not reacting in a manner that could hurt others as well as ourselves.
The third agreement is, “Never make assumptions” and its value comes from clarifying confusion within personal relationships with other individuals. If we engage in attempts to decipher what others are saying or what they mean through guessing or assuming, we will be left in a state of confusion as this method of mind reading is inaccurate and unhelpful. The inherent problem of making assumptions is that we are often wrong in what we assume to be true in any given scenario. As is the case for the other agreements, avoiding making assumptions is not easy because sometimes it will require additional communication and effort. The alternative to this, however, is to engage in the naïve and egoistic approach whereby we believe our assumptions are based in reality, whereas if we take the additional time to clarify, we can move closer in proximity to the truth.
Finally, the fourth agreement is, “Always try your best.” This is clearly the most obvious agreement to unpack because we know very well that we cannot accomplish our goals if we do not work hard; nothing in life worth having comes without hard work. An additional benefit to consistently trying our best is that it will help to quiet the internal critic whose judgements and criticisms are often the source of pain and anxiety, In early recovery, if we can begin to just try and adhere to these 4 principles on a daily basis we will, in short order, begin to see the benefits manifest themselves in our own lives and in our recovery.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474 to see how we can help you today.
(continued from pt. I)