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In the book “The Four Agreements” Don Miguel Ruiz writes about how we live our lives inside ourselves in various hells. He notes how we possess control over these hells, even to the point of creating our own internal ‘heavens.’ To capture the underlying premises of the Toltec wisdom he draws upon, you truly need to read this book.

My “in-a-nutshell” take on this delivers the perspective that rather than externalizing our lives and making other people responsible for our joys, we should internalize our search for peace and happiness. This is no new concept. Many decry this type of introspection to build a rewarding and fulfilled life. I enjoy the concept of four “agreements” each person makes within themselves with life.

I do not wish to digress from the “hells” aspect however. Once you read through the first three agreements, “Be impeccable with your word,” “Don’t take anything personally,” and “Don’t make assumptions,” you begin to understand how to regain your life and vitality.

There stand ready many who would steal your life and energy from you. The sad aspect to this truth becomes the fact that we actually allow others to pilfer our lives. We surrender ourselves to their manifestations of control, most often unpleasant, when all the while embodied with the strength to simply say no.

The most apparent and appalling truth this book delivers? We relegate our own selves into most of our hells. Not others. Us. Me. You.

While this fact distresses, it should also inspire. If we place ourselves in our own hells in this life, all we need do is learn how to alter that reality. This takes commitment. Work. Understanding. Education. A willingness to look deep and true into oneself. Undertaking this endeavor will require more than a ‘once-over’ style effort.

The reward? Your life. Back in your hands. Joy. Avoidance of the predicaments that torture us. A fighting chance at happiness. Joy. Confidence.

hellWaking From Our Dreams of Hell…

Soldiers we fall, strewn across the bloody fields of life
Dismembered. Forgotten. Reanimated.
Hell stands perpetual. Constant. Thrumming like fire-drops of rain.
Battered, we each rise again to seek our next step…

Bleak, blackened, sightlessness of eternal night,
We stumble across each other,
Dragging comrades into our own versions of hell
Often unknowing. Often uncaring. Often.

Yet life proffers gleaming truths.
Lights to ferry our souls from blindness.
Emancipations from self-inflicted dooms.
A way out of the madness of our minds.

Enlightenment manifests from pursuit, not laziness.
Joy and fulfillment from surrender, not aggression.
Personal responsibility as a road map, not an afterthought.
Impeccably striving to do our best, not get by…

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