Let’s Talk: The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
If you’ve been following my Instagram posts for the past year or so, you’ve probably read or heard me talk about the intense anxiety and deep depression I fell into last fall. I’d experienced depression before in my life, but it’d been at least ten years or so (when I was in my teens), and I couldn’t recall ever feeling as hopeless and down as I did this time around. If I’m analyzing why this time felt so different than before, there is, of course, my reasoning for experiencing sadness in the first place (parental heartbreak as the catalyst), but it also could be because the past few years have been some of the best years of my life. Contrasting with the highs and joys of life (not that I didn’t experience sadness or difficulty or deep cries in general), came this (seemingly sudden— though it wasn’t) heavy depression and deep rift from within. It was a huge blow.
I spent days and months trying to find things that would help me get better. Every day was a struggle just to muster enough hope to find positivity and not beat myself up for feeling the way I did, but every day mattered in the grand scheme of…well, getting better. I went to see a therapist, read self-help books, listened to podcasts on loop (specifically Oprah’s Supersoul Podcast, even more specifically Deepak Choprah’s episode “Creating Harmony”), snuggled my cat (a LOT), tried to exercise regularly and eat well, allowed myself to grieve and feel what I had to feel, and even tried CBD oil for anxiety (it didn’t work in a positive way for me, but I tried), amongst other things. Not one of those things instantly made me better, but my efforts weren’t in vain, because sure enough, with time, I did start to feel…better.
However, I still felt like most of the things I’d done to improve my state of mind at that point were working like bandaids (that’s not to say they were useless. They were incredible resources and saved my life). They protected my wounds from getting worse, which is what I needed at the time, but they weren’t healing or fixing the root problem of my injuries (depression and spiraling anxiety). I needed answers, a new mindset, perspective, something that felt internal, that I could carry with me at all times, instead of something I had to *do* to feel better. Then, one night as I explored the internet mindlessly, I stumbled on an article featuring supermodel Gisele Bündchen. Gisele has always seemed to glow from the inside and out, and so when the article mentioned a particular book she’d given to her wedding guests, my curiosity kicked in. The article mentioned a certain Don Miguel Ruiz, and the book in question was called “The Four Agreements”. I googled Ruiz and found some of his writing. Instantly feeling connected to his words, I ordered “The Four Agreements”.
The rest was history.
Here is a link to the book for purchase. It is around $7 and is truly a gift. I highly suggest reading it!
Here is what I wrote on Instagram about The Four Agreements:
“I would be doing a disservice to you if I waited one more day before sharing these words and this book that changed my life. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz.✨ (The best 7$ you will spend, btw.) To put it shortly, a huge part of my downward spiral last fall was due to crushing anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and spiraling self-destruction. I obsessed over and was drowning under everything — taking everything personally, assuming the worst, creating stories in my head (that would spiral and spiral into complex absurdity), my best never felt good enough and because of my spiraling darkness, it was difficult to think positively. But this book. I won’t say it was everything, but it was the cherry on top, the final hand that helped me up out of the deep hole I was in. I read it and something in my mind clicked. I hadn’t realized that so much of my anxiety came from made-up fears, theories, concepts and stories in my head. The Four Agreements taught me not to give those thoughts power at all. They are just thoughts, nothing more. They are not as things currently are. It also reminded me of basic humanity — that we all are going through journeys, that we all tend to reflect what we feel inside. Nothing is ever really about us. We are all in our own worlds, experiencing life differently. This book reminded me of the power of our word, the language we speak, the energy we put out into the world, including our own. It gave me back the power, to choose the words I use, therefore choosing the life I live. A kind, loving, positive one. Anyway — this book changed my life. It was a gift when I needed it most. It’s short and to the point, an easy read, and will give you perspectives to help empower you and see things…as they are. Not as you *think* they are. My hope is that with this book, you too can find some peace of heart and mind.”