In The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz tells us to “always do y/our best.”
“Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”
7. You can’t change anyone other than yourself
8. THERE are no victims, only volunteers.
You have to be okay with not being a victim. There are a lot of benefits to never getting your shit together and feeling sorry for yourself and your lot into infinity.
First of all, you get to be right all the time because ‘poor you.’ Next, you get heaps of attention. Then, add a heaping scoop or two of never having to take any risks because you’re such a sad sack, plus ignoring the sometimes super-annoying responsibility of truly dealing with your own life. What a drag. Maybe being a victim and ignoring reality, having your friends pay for lunch, and your parents do your laundry ’til you’re 40 is just like, ya know: better.
I jest of course, but these benefits aren’t really all that laughable— many people set up camp inside these benefits for weeks, months, decades at a time because, frankly, it is nice to not ever pay for lunch— not to mention taking responsibility for your existence is really hard work! Victim benefits aside, there are even more positive results if one chooses the other route. Acknowledge that you are benefiting from the victim mentality, reject its rogue benefits, and move forward like a grown-ass person.
Remember: it is not about what happens to you, but what you choose to DO WITH what happens to you that truly defines who you are.
So what are the alternatives?
radical self awareness
tons of gratitude
outward-focused goals and concerns
and a life full of forgiveness.
Which brings me to:
9. Forgiveness sets YOU free
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” —Catherine Ponder
It’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking that forgiveness is just about something you “should do.”
But forgiving is a gift you gift yourself.
An ‘unforgiveness’ lingers like a nasty wound—you are linked to the Unforgiven; your thoughts will return to the person who wronged you over and over again. The emotional link between the two of you is so potent, and continues to inflict suffering in you and (as a result of your inner turmoil) most often, in other people around you too.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu says:
"To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form if self-interest. It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger. These emotions are all part of being human. You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: The depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.
However, when I talk of forgiveness, I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person. A better person than one being consumed by anger and hatred. Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator. If you can find it in yourself to forgive, then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator. You can move on, and you can even help the perpetrator to become a better person, too.”
When you forgive you do not only release the other person, you set yourself free too from agony; it is not forgetting, or dismissing accountability, or condoning a hurtful act; it’s the process of taking back our lives so we can move forward and truly live.
10. Don’t wash wool.
Just … just trust me.