Keeping My Word (And the Other Three Agreements I Ignored Until My Thirties)
I think about her now. The girl that would cancel plans without a moment's notice or decide that drinking a pitcher of margaritas on the beach was a better idea than calling her brother back. All that mattered were her priorities, her feelings, her emotional rollercoaster. I don't think I even started to realize I was her until I hit age thirty. And even then, there was a lot of excavating needed to become who I am now. Imperfect, for sure, but present and with a lot less explaining to do.
I read the book "The Four Agreements" the moment it came out. Then I read it again. And again. And again. And with most self help books I consumed during this time, nothing really stuck. In fact, I probably thought I was doing the work. That I could lead the work.
The four agreements being:
Be impeccable with your word.
Don't take anything personally.
Don't make assumptions.
Always do your best.
I recently had a friend who bailed on something really important to me minutes before. I worked through every last feeling before I got onto the phone and we were able to have a constructive conversation. One thing she said really stood out to me though: I'm here to defend my choice.
I felt an ache in my ribs because I get it. That endless defending of my choices instead of just showing up and doing what I said I'd do. The self righteousness that gets exhausting. Needing to be right rather than understood. The thousands of white lies I'd construct spinning a far larger web than I'd started with. It just really sucked, to be honest. I'm sure this wasn't her experience, nor should it have been, but it's what I remembered from this painful period in my life.
In that conversation, and many prior and many since, I remembered this: I'll show up and do what I say I'll do. I'll say no to what I can't or don't want to commit to. And somebody else's business is somebody else's business. There's no need to make assumptions and take absolutely everything personally.
It is simply not my job to judge you. It is not my place.
It is however my job is see myself in you and to know that we are one in the same.
And I'll learn that over and over again for the rest of my life.
Of that I have no doubt.