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 Post subject: The Four Agreements
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:58 pm 
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I've been reading the Four Agreements again. Every time I come across the chapter - Taking things Personally, i always have issues with it as i feel some content is missing.

I understand the philosophy behind taking things personally. ie When someone says something to you (good or bad), it is only a reflection of their own reality. But on page 48, it says something along the lines that if you take someones comment personally then perhaps you believe that comment of yourself. That is it.

For the most part, i can apply the agreement. If someone calls me a tart for example, i can brush it off as their own issue and not mine without too much thought because i know it is not true. It is easily to disprove. If i'm not invited to a party/lunch etc, that is not my issue either. The agreement is easy to apply in these situations. The problem i have is when someone makes a comment to me that is close to the bone or should i say, targets my core beliefs/values or even personal appearance. So, for example only, if someone calls me fat and what i see in the mirror is a fat person because in all reality I am fat by proper definition, then immediately i'm going to take that personally, particularly knowing that is a given I have confidence issues. Sure, there is probably a part of the other persons own reality where they feel they are fat even if their a normal weight, but it doesnt change the deep hurt I would feel from their comment. How could you not take that comment personally? The book merely says to ignore the black magicians poison otherwise it will become your own. But what if that poison already is YOURS. I felt that although the philosphy is great, the book doesnt really go into how you would go about ignoring those black magicians when they targeted you at a much deeper level which is a bit airy fairy.

I've wondered whether using untwisted thinking would apply in this instance. It could probably work with a lot of practice if someone said something like your stupid. You could challenge it. But lets say you have a severe learning disability and stupidity is a deep core belief. How does it apply then? Or what if someone said your a cross eyed freak when you are actually cross eyed and you feel like a freak as a result of it, then i'm not sure untwisting your thinking would apply because it is actually a reality you are cross eyed. Nothing can change that.

I would like to know if anyone can provide me with some insights into what i may be missing here and if anyone has had any experience with not taking things personally when you have been personally attacked and how you dealt with it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Agreements
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:37 am 
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I see what you're saying.

I think the only thing that would come to mind would be:

Quote:
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.


And he talks about using the power of your word for truth and love even toward yourself. So when someone else says something that resonates with your own self-directed words, it's a way of reminding you to honor the First Agreement - to be impeccable with your word, to treat yourself with love. In the example you gave ("being called fat") it could also then lead you to the Fourth Agreement - always do your best. If you weigh more than you would ideally like, are you doing your best (not trying but actually DOING your best) to reach your goal? Are you treating yourself with love?

At that point then, the other person's words are meaningless because it's more about your internal struggle to treat yourself with love and to honor yourself through the Agreements. You can let go of what they say because it's truly meaningless. If you're doing your best and you're treating yourself with love, honoring your Genuine Self through the power of your self-directed words, that's all that matters and their nasty words can be easily deflected.

Does that make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: The Four Agreements
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:09 am 
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I think i do get you actually. I made the mistake of looking at each of the Agreements in isolation rather than looking at them as them as a whole. ......Ive said once before i need the water pointed out to me.

I had to go back and re-read the first agreement while keeping my real life examples in mind. Its meaning was more powerful the second time around instead of just reading words off a page as i did the first time.

Speaking with integrity is really about self-love and acceptance isnt it? ....Well of yourself and others, but i'm applying this to self in this instance.

In the opening chapter, On page 20 the book says "If you abuse yourself badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say "I deserve it. This person is doing me a favour by being with me. I'm not worthy of love and respect. I'm not good enough". Kind of sums me up in one sentance really. And it is the very reason why i seem to struggle so much with applying the second agreement when i'm personally attacked at the core. My self-worth or value is non-existant.

Self-love doesnt come easy for me. I treat myself the same way as I was treated by my primary care takers. I re-live it and basically re-create abuse toward myself with cruel self-talk. I have the ability to abuse myself more than anyone else can even begin to abuse me. He speaks about that in the first chapter too.

...Moving further along, In the first Agreement he states on page 43 that "Impeccability of the word will also give you immunity from putting a negative spell on you. You will only receive a negative idea if your mind is fertile ground for that idea."

I see that I need to break the Agreement with myself and create a new one by being impeccable with my word. Tell myself I'm valuable, i'm worthwhile and lovable. And as you say, if i apply the fourth Agreement and do my best to really believe that, then maybe not taking things personally will fall into place in time.

....So i guess now I think I kind of unexpectantly gained further insight into this and me then I actually anticipated. Thank you for that. .....Now i just need to go and work out how to love myself..... How do you start that Journey?


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Agreements
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:45 pm 
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cleopatra wrote:
How do you start that Journey?

Funny you should ask! We recently restored the "Begin Your Recovery" parable to the main site. While it's not a mapped out plan (i.e., spend X time working on ABC tool before moving to XYZ tool for F amount of time) it's a good read.

That said, I would suggest picking a Tool at random (whatever sounds nicest, whatever speaks to you the most, whatever your finger lands on with your eyes closed!) and focus on it for a couple of weeks. Notice where and how you could be using that Tool to improve things. I always suggest starting in retrospect. That is to say, don't expect that because you picked Tool A that for the next two weeks, any time XYZ situation occurs, you'll just whip out Tool A and put it to work. It doesn't work that way and is really a recipe for disaster/failure. Instead, let your life unfold as it normally does but keep that tool at the forefront of your mind. After a tough situation or a meltdown occurs, pull out the tool and work with it. If you'd been able to pull the tool out before things got out of control, what difference would it have made? What might have happened differently? How might that have looked and felt?

After a while with Tool A, pick another tool and spend a comparable amount of time focusing (retrospectively) on that one, Tool B. Go through the same processes: pull out the tool and work with it. If you'd been able to pull the tool out before things got out of control, what difference would it have made? What might have happened differently? How might that have looked and felt?

The more frequently you're able to visualize and understand the impact of the Tools (retrospectively) and the ways in which they can be used, the larger your Learning Library becomes. That means to me that you're starting to train your brain to think in new ways with the retrospective work so that eventually you'll be able to stop yourself and say "Hey, this is like ABC situation and I bet if I use XYZ Tool, things will go better - let's try it!" and that, my dear, is monumental. Half the recovery battle is slowing our knee-jerk reactions down so that we can employ our tools to formulate responses (instead of wild reactions.)

The other half of recovery work is, of course, practicing use of the tools to the point that they become your "standard operating procedure" - your default protocol - your knee-jerk autopilot. With each exercise you do in retrospect, you begin to erase the old default inner self-talk tapes that tell you you're unloved, worthless, going to be abandoned, etc. and you get to start recording new inner self-talk tapes to give you a better, more solid/stable, healthy foundation for your life.

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 Post subject: Re: The Four Agreements
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:49 pm 
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And thanks for the inspiration yourself. I've basically added that bit (above) to the Begin Your Recovery page so that the parable makes a bit more sense in the context of BPD Recovery work.

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