What Dogs Teach Us About Living Life According to ‘The Four Agreements’
“The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz is probably one of my all-time favorite transformational tomes. It reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, ‘The Four Agreements’ offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Having sold almost 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, this book has definitely had an impact on the millions of readers who are either dabbling in self-improvement, or they’re already experts at it.
“Don Miguel Ruiz’s book is a roadmap to enlightenment and freedom.” — Deepak Chopra
So what does this have to do with dogs?
Dogs are among the most spiritual creatures on the planet. No one understands the meaning of unconditional love, presence, and pure joy like a dog. Untainted by ego, societal pressures, judgement from others or themselves, and the innate ability to be totally, unapologetically themselves, dogs are the very essence of ‘The Four Agreements’.
Everything we do is based on agreements we have made — agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, with life. However, the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves.
The Four Agreements are:
- Be Impeccable With Your Word.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally.
- Don’t Make Assumptions.
- Always Do Your Best.
So, just how do these agreements apply to dogs?
1.Be Impeccable With Your Word. ‘Your word is the power that you have to create. Your word has the power that you have directly from God. Your intent manifests through the word. Impeccability of the word will create heaven on earth and beauty, love.’ — The Four Agreements
When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you don’t judge or blame yourself. If you look at this in dog terms, a dog knows when he or she has been bad. They own their shit, and let it go. They don’t whine about it, beat themselves up, or get caught up in negative self-talk. They also don’t judge others. Even though a dog is the only creature who will love you more than they love themselves, they are pure love. And they express that love through their interactions with you and others. They look at you with eyes that tell you how wonderful you are, how great you are. It’s time you agreed with your dog(s) and tell yourself theses things. Love yourself like your dog does.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. I can’t even begin to explain some of the horrors I see everyday when it comes to animal abuse towards dogs. Amazingly, they don’t take it personally. They’re always happy to see you no matter what their horrific past may have been. They don’t have an ego. Nothing that is done to them is about them. It’s because of the people who harm them.
Dogs don’t have an opinion of themselves. They don’t look in the mirror and say: “Gosh you’re fat/ugly/unworthy/a loser.” None of that matters to a dog.
Don’t take anything personally because if you do, you are setting yourself up for unnecessary suffering. Have to learn to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you or about you. As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust and what others do or say. You only need to trust yourself and your dog.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Real love is accepting people for exactly who they are and not trying to change them. Dogs will never expect you to be anything other than who you are. They don’t need you to be funnier, prettier, more punctual, be a better communicator, or less selfish. They’re just happy that you fed them, walked them, and gave them a spot on the couch.
Dogs also always express themselves openly and freely. There’s no bullshit. They assume nothing. We may not always understand what they’re trying to tell us, but they’re not holding anything back or twisting the truth.
We as humans have the ability to actually speak, ask questions and communicate with others clearly to avoid any misunderstanding, sadness or drama. Say what you mean, mean what you say. You can transform your life with this one agreement alone.
4. Always Do Your Best. There’s no bigger people pleaser than a dog. They always do their best. Their best changes from moment to moment, and they’re not even trying because they don’t have to. They don’t get bogged down in the minutia of their past, or fears and doubts about the future. Dogs are fully alive in the present. They’re the actual presence of being: I Am.
Dog is life in action. They enjoy the dream that is happening right now. Likewise, you can let go and allow yourself to be fully alive in the present moment. Just do your best. You don’t need to judge yourself, feel guilty, or punish yourself if you cannot keep these agreements. Just do your best. You too can enjoy the dream that is happening right now. Living in the past means only being half alive. Take a risk and enjoy your life. You need to express your own divinity by being fully alive and by loving yourself and others, just like a dog.
It is time to stop the abuse, be free of your own judgments. Be free of the role of the victim. Do this by changing the foundation of your own agreements. The happiest moments of your life or when the real you comes out.
To apply this dogma (couldn’t help myself), just know the following: You are not responsible for anyone’s opinion. You don’t need to let your life be ruled by what others think of you. You’re don’t have to be afraid to take risks. Ditch the fear of being rejected and the need to be accepted.
Be more dog-like: Live a life without judgement. Forgive. Don’t be afraid to lose anything. Don’t be afraid to explore life. Don’t be afraid to be alive in the world. Love yourself just as much as your dog loves you.