Change is constant. Finding balance on a new road, always trying to adapt to new situations, people or circumstances can be daunting. When some one goes through the process of finding help for depression, addiction, anxiety or even more severe mental health conditions, there is a time of transition. Learning to balance a healthy lifestyle and achieve new goals can be tricky. Even if you have not been through treatment and you are just trying to cope with the day to day routine, balancing priorities can be difficult. Looking for wisdoms in these times of change is often helpful to gain perspective. It can help to simplify things that perhaps you are overthinking. Not everyone proudly peruses the “self-help” section, but making time to reflect on personal goals and self assess your life is essential for happiness to exist.

On this Friday, I propose a feel good post. Something we can all take into consideration no matter where we are in life. Whatever challenge lies ahead of you tomorrow, stop today and think. Are you on the right road? Are you heading in the direction that will bring you the most happiness. Finding a little perspective, I went back to my little collection of literature from college days.  There is a very popular book of wisdom called “The Four Agreements” written by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’ve never come across any one that didn’t like this book. Now, it’s not for everyone, and it certainly has some views that are hard to grasp fully, but we’re reaching beyond ourselves to gain some insight, right? Feel good Friday, it’s a thing! The self proclaimed “practical guide to personal freedom” covers topics like speaking with integrity, analyzing interactions with others, assumptions and self judgement. Let’s briefly discuss these agreements that you make with yourself that will give you more perspective and wisdom.

First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word

What does it mean to be impeccable? It’s not a word that is so often used in a typical conversation, but its meaning is profound in this sentence. To be impeccable with your word means that you avoid using any verbal form of communication to negatively convey thoughts or feelings that would degrade yourself or others. This agreement focuses on positive messages of truth and love. Ruiz emphasizes the power of words. The ability to speak and represent yourself is such an amazing gift. Speak with intent. Choose your words and consider the impact that they have once they have been spoken.

“When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.”
Page 35 – The Four Agreements, Ruiz

Miscommunication happens from time to time, but it is important to relieve yourself of the burden of judgement. From a young age we learn to do things that are pleasing to others. While we may concern ourselves with what others think, it is important to be clear with what we say. Keeping our communication honest and clear will help with the other agreements we make along the way. Representing yourself through the way you speak is another consideration. A great deal of communication is non-verbal, or rather, how you deliver the communication. Body language can be just as powerful as words. Hold you head high and be confident.

Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

This agreement can be extremely difficult. Emotional regulation is difficult when there is conflict. It is important to remember to consider others intent and to be confident of who you are.

“When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big our of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everyone else wrong. You also try to be right by giving your own opinions. In the same way, whatever you feel and do is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your own agreements. What you say, what you do, and the opinions you have are according to the agreements you have made – and these opinions have nothing to do with me.”
Page 56 – The Four Agreements, Ruiz

Many people operate in fear or a reaction to defend themselves because they don’t feel heard and understood. Whatever it is, it is not because of you. We all have our own unique experiences. The power over your mind is entirely your own and you can take that control and operate in a way that is honest and kind. Honesty and truth can exist with kindness. In any respect, what we internalize is our choice. We can choose to see things separate from ourselves and what we take to heart.

Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions

When you don’t understand something, it is human nature to try and fill in what is missing. An assumption presumes that you know something and it may or may not be true. If you base your word on truth, assumptions won’t exist. Be proactive enough to gain understanding, educate yourself and ask questions.

“In any kind of relationship we can make the assumption that others know what we think, and we don’t have to say what we want. they are going to do what we want because they know us so well. If they don’t do what we want, what we assume they should do, we feel hurt… A whole lot of drama is created because we make this assumption and then put some more assumptions on top of it.”
Page 73 – The Four Agreements, Ruiz

When we are honest with ourselves and don’t presume to know something that we have not validated, we can be more open in relationships. In order to build trust, you must feel safe and have an honest communication channel with others. It’s difficult to trust others when assuming. Instead, try finding ways to grow closer and understand. Be pro-active in communications, say what you mean and mean what you say.

Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

Being that we are all in a state of change, your best will change depending on your current situation. Striving for perfection is exhausting and impossible, but if you are doing all that you are capable of then that is enough. You are enough. This last ingredient is what makes all the other agreements come together. In doing your best, you won’t assume, because you won’t be lazy and not find the answer and guess at what it is. In doing your best you won’t take things personally because you will recognize that others have their own battles and perception that is separate from you. In doing your best you will be impeccable with your word because you’ll have the confidence to communicate honestly and kindly.

“Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy. When you always do your best, you take action. Doing your best is taking the action because you love it..”
Page 86 – The Four Agreements, Ruiz

As a long term residential care facility specializing in mental health, finding help and providing care is something we encourage. Adult mental health services are established to help gain balance in life an ultimately build a life worth living. What is life without happiness? Being happy doesn’t happen over night. By living every day with purpose, being mindful of the choices that we make, the people that we choose to have in our lives, we build happiness. For those that have encountered addiction, substance abuse or mental health problems, recovery is possible. Behavioral Health services don’t change you, but rather teach you the skills needed to communicate effectively, view yourself honestly and provide support for the struggles we face so that you can make choices that will change yourself for the better.

Taking time for yourself is vital. Keeping up with change can be hard. But if you can give yourself enough structure, you can weather life’s storms easier. Listen to Chris Surlage explain how structure with change can make a difference in your life:

By striving to improve ourselves we can love ourselves. Making goals and making agreements can give us something to work on. Take time to focus and regroup. Improve each day and find your own road. A new road to a better tomorrow is possible, but you have to choose it. Incorporating others into your life is therapeutic, sometimes difficult but always worth it. Don’t go through life alone. And if you have found yourself in a place that is too hard to walk alone, don’t! Therapy and treatment facilities like New Roads can show you how to build your support group and gain trust. Eric Schmidt discusses how we help clients build a life worth living:

You can do this, we can help! 888-358-8998

Finding Balance on a New Road Part 1 : Four Agreements
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