I’ve just read ”The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s the kind of book that I don’t usually read (just because…), but someone read a quote from it which really provoked me, so I had to read it. ”Never take anything personal”… Well, if that’s not provoking I don’t know what is.
Ruiz writes about the problems that may occur as long as we don’t understand that we all live in our own lives, our own unique worlds and in and with our own dreams. There is no way we can really and truly understand someone else because we have no idea what is going on in their dreams and what happened in their lives.
The four agreements, according to Ruiz, are:
- Be impeccable with your words (words do hurt)
- Never take anything personal (it’s not you, it’s me.)
- Never make assumptions (again, we can never really know why or what. Ask.)
- Always do your best (Yes, your best, but not more than that. Your best is also different if you’re, for example, sick or if you’re in love)
I encourage you to read the book, since the book is clearer on what it’s about than what I am.
Sometimes I work as a model in an art school. I started doing it because I needed the money and I’ve continued doing it because I like the different perspectives it gives me. Just by doing something we normally don’t do, it does just that: gives us a new platform from where our perspectives change. We can leave it right away and observe our familiar surroundings, now a little bit different.
Well. What strikes me most is that when I look at the paintings and sketches that these students have done, it’s clearly a picture of me, but it’s also not. I am the model and they have used my forms and measurements, but it is not a painting of me, it’s themselves. Suddenly it’s very obvious. Their pictures of me depend on where in the room they stand, or if they sit. It depends on their personal taste in colours. And it depends on their life experience and on their level of knowledge. Every picture of ”me” is very different and tells a whole new story. It’s The Four Agreements in pictures.
When I feel too judged or, even, too praised, I try to remember that we see ourselves in others and others see themselves in me. And ”me” could be ”you”. Is You.