Obsessions, Agreements, & Assumptions
I’m obsessed with many things.
Or, I should say, I HAVE been obsessed with many things.
I was obsessed with trying my hand at Doodle art a few weeks ago. That one was very short-lived. (I’m just not an artist when it comes to drawing!)
I was making my own kombucha for awhile and was brewing by the gallons-full! (why stop at 2 gallons when you can do 15?!! haha)
Then there’s, of course, that whole nasty ‘booze issue’ I had years ago…(thank God I have ways to deal with THAT one!)
But there are good obsessions too, and some that I keep around for a long time.
Snyders has these gluten free Buffalo-flavored pretzel sticks that I’ve been eating just about every night for forever. I just never get sick of them!
And every night when I go to bed, I put a show on my Kindle to lull me to sleep (why I bother, I don’t know. 5 minutes TOPS is all I last!) and I have put the same show on every night for probably a year and a half or so. I’ve seen every single episode at least 6 or 7 times. That show? “Nurse Jackie”! I LOVE that pill-popping mess of a mother! (actually….who I LOVE is Zoe. Merritt Wever I think her name is. BRILLIANT actress! The entire cast is brilliant IMO)
You can probably tell from all of the designs I make as well as my website, I’m a bit obsessed with COLOR! haha Bright colors just make me happy! (I hope they do for YOU too!) I figure…if I’m going to a website to help me find gratitude and happiness…I want to see colors. BRIGHT COLORS! So bright colors you shall (and do!) get from me.
And then there’s, of course, the gratitude obsession….hence the name GRATITUDE ADDICT! I thought the name was clever seeing that I’m both…ya know…an addict (recovering though, thank you very much!) and addicted to gratitude too! I was actually shocked when the .com extension of it was STILL available when I got it since .coms are so hard to come by nowadays. A sign, for sure, that it was meant to be!
One of my book obsessions is a very famous book called “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. If you’ve watched any of my live broadcasts on FB or Instagram, you may notice that I mention it quite often as I’m a big fan of it and it’s 4 simple ‘agreements’ to living a happier life.
I had never heard of the book when I received it. I got it as a birthday gift from my fellow comrades in the pain program/rehab I was at 4 years ago. It had been a big hit in the rehab gift shop, apparently! haha (Happy Birthday to me in rehab! woo hoo!) lol
It turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read and one that I keep referring to over and over in my life. Don Miguel Ruiz has been featured on “Super Soul Sunday” with Oprah many times and his 4 simple guidelines for life are so brilliant:
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take anything personally
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best.
I dare you to think of a situation where, if these 4 agreements were done well, it wouldn’t have made it better. Wars could have been prevented. Divorces, most definitely.
And hell…every damn misunderstanding that Jack, Chrissy, and Janet had on ‘Three’s Company” would have been put to a screeching halt!! (oh my….am I dating myself? I’ll have to use the ‘Three’s Company’ intro as the retro video of the post! You guys know ‘Three’s Company’, right?!?)
These ‘agreements’ sound very simple because THEY ARE! Implementing them into your life takes work, though. I’m always (and will forever be) a work in progress. A perfectly, imperfect, messy, but beautiful work in progress…that’s me. (and you are too, btw)
The one I’ve been thinking of the most lately for some reason is, ‘always do your best.’ You would think that one is a no-brainer, right? But is it?
Not really. DO we always do our best?
I broke EVERY agreement with my husband, Rob, over the weekend. I didn’t know it was possible to break them all at the same time, but I did. I made an assumption that he knew how I was feeling (he didn’t), I took it personally when he didn’t magically read my mind, and my words to him were anything but impeccable. Did I do my best with what I knew at that time? Um….probably not…only because starting a sentence off with, “You’re killing me…” probably wasn’t the best choice of words (sorry, Manly!)
But in general, I think I DO always do my best with what the current situation is and the info I have on it up until that point. I believe Don Miguel Ruiz says it in the chapter somewhere that that same best that you did 5 minutes ago may be very different than the best you would do now given the information you now have or the abilities that you might have that are different from 5 minutes ago. It’s so true!
When we get resentments against others, it’s usually due to a breakdown in one of these four agreements. (Those ‘assumptions’ are an absolute KILLER for me!) But in my heart of hearts, I really do believe that we are all doing the best we can in every situation. Let me rephrase that actually…..I CHOOSE to believe that. When I choose to believe that, a lot of my issues with people go away.
Perhaps I don’t like that someone just stole my parking spot that I’d been waiting for. I’m going to bitch and moan and wonder how that person can be such a jerk!
And maybe they ARE just a jerk, but maybe there’s more to it. Maybe they are having a really bad day themselves and they were absolutely oblivious to the fact that I was waiting for that spot. Maybe they’re in a hurry as they are caring for a sick family member at home and that parking spot that opened up was a gift from God for them. Maybe they have a killer migraine and just need to run in and out of the store to get meds and right now they have to put themselves as their number one priority.
The thing is, we just don’t know the behind-the-scenes situations of ANYONE but ourselves. “We all have our shit” is one of my favorite sayings (right Tracy Burger?)”.
Living with a chronic illness, I often say this to people a lot….”I’m doing the best I can.” It can be hard for people to think any differently of me because I look like I’m healthy and can do everything everyone else can. It’s assumed that I should be able to do what an ordinary 47 yr old should be doing. Unfortunately, I can’t. As much as I’m in denial and will for it to be true, it’s not. So I accept it and move on.
Wouldn’t it be a lot less exhausting if we just chose to believe that everyone is simply doing the best they can with what they have at that very moment? I think so. Whether or not it’s true, we don’t know, but we can choose to believe that for our own peace of mind and serenity.
- Your friend who never offers to split the check…….maybe they’ve been asked not to spend extra money right now as funds are tight. They’re doing the best they can. Be grateful for the friendship.
- Your friend who continually cancels plans on you…..maybe they always have the best of intentions when they schedule, but just aren’t doing very well at the time the plans come up. They’re doing the best they can. Be grateful for the friendship.
- That person who NEVER calls you back…….again, I bet the intentions were there, but maybe they have anxiety and picking up that phone can feel like 100 pounds. They’re doing the best they can.
- That woman who returned your lost wallet but obviously took the $50 you knew you had in there…..maybe she REALLY needed that money more than you did. She’s doing the best she can.
Now, I’m not saying that we just excuse every jerk for bad behavior! NO WAY!!! Being intentionally mean or cruel to someone does not mean that maybe they should get away with it or not confronted about that behavior, but for YOUR own peace of mind, just assume that they’re doing the best they can. It’s so much less exhausting.
Which now puts the pressure on you. From now on….do the very best that you can. As the quote above by DMR says, if we do our best all the time, there’s no room for us to judge ourselves!
I will do the very best that I can too.
RETRO TV COMMERCIAL OF THE POST! As promised, I am posting the theme and opening credits to “Three’s Company” which was a hugely popular show back in the 70s when I was a kid. Every single episode revolved around antics that happened because of ASSUMPTIONS & misunderstandings!