We had a wedding this past weekend. One of our daughters got married.
It was stunningly beautiful.
Despite the planning delays — associated with the bride’s June graduation, the groom starting a new job in a new city in July, and their move into a new house in August, the logistical challenges, and not feeling in control of the process along the way … it was beautiful.
Coming down from this experience prompted me to reread The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz upon my return home. I needed something to help ground me while decompressing. I felt like I did after opening a new hospital – relieved, wound up and full of reflections.
This book came to mind because it puts life in perspective, especially at a turning point in one’s life. These agreements are the basis of mindfulness and living a life true to oneself.
Once again, I found many relevant lessons to be savored in The Four Agreements.
THE FIRST AGREEMENT – Be Impeccable with Your Words
This speaks to the importance of being mindful of our intentions behind all words we say, and then taking responsibility for when we misspeak. High emotion situations like weddings challenge mindful word usage and give us opportunities to apologize and self-forgive. I needed this reminder.
Ruiz points out that this agreement has the most power and is the basis for making the other three agreements possible. All of the agreements are about self-love.
“You can measure the impeccability of your word by your level of self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word” (p44). Impeccable word choices make us feel good, happy and at peace.
THE SECOND AGREEMENT – Don’t Take Anything Personally
As a nurse and nurse leader, we know this lesson well, but I keep learning it. Under the pressures of this last week, I did a lot right and some things not so well. Self-acceptance in these times is what is called for; this frees us to keep growing.
THE THIRD AGREEMENT – Don’t Make Assumptions
As you might guess, under the pressures of rapid wedding organizing, there were many assumptions had by all! The assumptions were the source of most of the stress. We got through it.
THE FOURTH AGREEMENT – Always Do Your Best
This agreement is my favorite. Ruiz’ presentation of this lesson acknowledges that there will always be variations in the quality of our efforts. “Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best … ” “… this agreement is really going to set you free” (p76-80).
This is where one finds the joy within in doing one’s best.
This is where we find awareness and self-acceptance, where we learn to use our words impeccably, where we learn to not take things personally, and where we learn to not make assumptions.
By always striving to do our best for ourselves, for our own self worth and joy ….
… we learn to live life fully.
It was a stunningly beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride.