How many times has someone stated their opinion of you, or maybe of someone you know, and, whether you believe it to be true or not, you find yourself agreeing with that opinion? Often, we agree with others, even if we don’t believe what they say to be true because we want their acceptance. Ruiz points out that all of these agreements that we make with ourselves and about ourselves comprises the fibers of our personality. The power that we have to make and keep these agreements comes from within and we were born with a finite amount of personal power.
Every agreement we make and every agreement we keep requires us to use a certain amount of that power. He says that, “generally, the agreements that we keep based on fear require a great amount of energy, while the agreements that are driven by love allow us to conserve, and even gain, energy.” If we expend a great amount of power keeping agreements that lock us into fear and suffering, we end up powerLESS at the end of the day. We end up having no power left within us to change ourselves, or change the world. The only way to change your life, according to Ruiz, is to change your agreements.
By his count, there are only four agreements that we need to keep with ourselves in order to undo the endless amount of agreements that have caused us suffering. By undoing all of the fear-based agreements, we can regain our personal power and have the energy we need to create a new dream, a new reality. Yet, these agreements will require us to have very strong will to see beyond our own suffering to the heaven awaiting us on the other side of our fear. We must think of our mind like fertile soil and the agreements we make are like seeds. If we want the right seeds to grow, we must first prepare the soil properly.
Finally in Part 4 of the audio book, we begin to learn about what the first of these Four Agreements are. While it may be the most challenging, it is also the most rewarding when it comes to undoing years of suffering. Agreement Number One: Be Impeccable With Your Word. To Ruiz, the Word is everything, it is not just a symbol, but our ability to communicate with one another. We, above all other creatures, have the power to speak. We can use our words to create freedom and beauty, or we have use our words to create suffering and hate.
If you do not agree that the word is so powerful, Ruiz uses the vivid example of Hitler and how he convinced millions of people to do great harm to others with just the power of his words. Mahatma Gandhi, on the other hand, has used his words to promote endless compassion and love for all living beings on earth. If you were to read any of the words that Hitler wrote/spoke, notice if your reactions are those of fear, doubt, anger and anxiety, yet when you read the words that Gandhi has written/spoken, you should notice that you become calm, at ease, and more loving.
This is the power of the word….if we have the power to influence ourselves and others into making agreements, then we must choose our words carefully and with kindness.