The Five Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This is a book that has left very powerful traces on me. It is one those books that opened my eyes to a new way of understanding how we go through life as humans. The book introduces us to the Toltec wisdom.

I only want to give the essence of it, so that you can read the book for yourselves. It is not a long read. I found my peace in it.

Toltec wisdom, hence the book, suggests that we as humans live in stories that we construct ourselves and then mean them for real. We live in a web of concepts and take them so as if they were inherently real. What is inherently real though is only the physical reality. The tree is real, you can see it, touch it, smell it. Hate is not. Water is real, love is not. We humans make them for real and then construct our stories around them. We also make up our dramas and with that lose our inner peace.

According to the Toltecs, if we go with five agreements with ourselves, we can restore our inner peace. They are:

  • Be impeccable with your word (honor your word)
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best
  • Be skeptical but learn to listen (this fifth one was added later to the original four)

I read this book a few years ago and ever since I have been making a conscious effort to live by these agreements. They do give me inner peace and when I am aligned they make me feel like human being rather than a small person.

When I give my word, I try to honor my word and keep my integrity. I try not to take things personally, reminding myself each time that this is not about me, it is their story. I am trying not to make assumptions, for how can I actually know? I can neither read the future nor someone’s thoughts. Even if I could, those thoughts would all be stories. I try to listen very carefully each individual human being that speaks to me because s/he is a human being and is in need of being heard, just like me. I must not believe everything I hear though, for everything are stories. Finally, I am trying to my best to be aligned with these five agreements each and everyday. I am not always successful but I never give up my intention.

Without reading the book, and especially when hearing about going through life in this way for the first time, all this may sound confusing (and I am making an assumption right now). Yet, once it sits it is very liberating.

We all live in our stories through our lifetime and we cannot stop it. When we are aware of it though, we have the possibility to construct fairy tales instead of dramas. And that would be a life full of love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.