For the last month, I have been on a personal retreat in Nevada City. I am in meditation, prayer, reading and writing. Having attending a Byron Katie workshop shortly before I came here, I purchased one of her books, “I Need Your Love – Is That True?” and then shortly after I got here, a friend recommended that I read “The Four Agreements.”
Now this is where synchronicity comes in (when the Universe supports you through “coincidental” things). The material in the two books is nearly identical though I had no thought that they would correlate with each other.
So what is the Universe teaching me? Personal integrity with my word. Initially, I thought that just meant to not be dishonest when I spoke. Yet, “The Four Agreements” says being impeccable with my words is to “use my energy in the direction of truth and love for myself” and both included the words that I speak to myself in my thoughts. Some of the things that I've been changing in response to these readings are:
If I don't want to do something, I respectfully tell the other person “no,” and I am willing to ask for what I want and respectfully accept the response of yes or no.
I am trying to communicate my decisions without feeling the need to explain.
I'm being more conscious of my thoughts, which isn't a new idea but a new application for me. If a thought is painful, then it isn't loving for me to say it to myself, and if I don't know if it is true, then I'm creating hell for myself based on the story I have created (which is equivalent to a lie).
Initially I had a lot of anxiety around these. Yet, I found that when I said no to an invitation and still allowed the other person the freedom to do what they wanted, we both were happy with the outcome. I cancelled an appointment without explaining why and the person simply suggested a new time to meet. And I am experiencing less pain as I try to not swim around in my thoughts when they bring upset but rather see the simplicity of what I really know to be true, without my stories, and allow it to be without judgment.
It seems easy in some ways – only doing things that I want to, not feeling the need to justify my decisions and thinking happier thoughts. Yet, it's a lifetime of patterns that we've all lived under in a society that has taught self-love is narcissistic. But, I'm learning it isn't – self-love and being in integrity with my word externally and within my mind supports me in feeling free and more peaceful and creates relationships with others that have more integrity and harmony. It's definitely something I'm going to keep working on!