Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at [email protected]

Q. Who wouldn’t desire to feel more personal freedom? To not get caught up in trivial but often times stressful situations of daily living. I have something simple but yet challenging to help you assess the health of your thoughts.

A. The Four Agreements is a book by Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican writer sharing the wisdom of the Toltecs. He has divided the book into the following agreements that you can make with yourself:
1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best.
Be impeccable with your word – “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use your power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” Being truthful with our words can be tricky. Do we risk speaking truthfully if we think it might hurt someones feelings or do we let our truth surface.
Don’t take anything personally – “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” This is my favorite. So many times we take on the mood or words of another person and let it totally ruin our day. We personalize their words. We must remember that their words do not have the power to make us feel bad unless WE LET THEM. This takes a lot of practice but the end results are totally worth it.
Don’t make assumptions – “In any kind of relationship we can make the assumptions 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 and think, “How could you do that? You should know.” Again, we make the assumption that the other person knows what we want. A whole drama is created because we make this assumption and then put more assumptions on top of it.”
Always do your best – “You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward.” Take pride in what you do, what you have to offer and believe in yourself.
In the matters of Love and Friendship, Ruiz offers the following wisdom: “If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”