Time for a card from the Four Agreements deck, by Don Miguel Ruiz. Today’s card comes from the first Agreement, Be Impeccable With Your Word. The card reads:
Let go of self-judgment and blame
Being impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself for anything.
Self-judgment and blame. Two of my best events in the Olympics of self-contempt. I spent many years in self-blame, and believing that I never did anything right, which always led to an enormous load of guilt, with me all the time. In fact, if you read my post about lying, you know already that I almost never believed that anything I said or did was of any value at all.
So I judged myself quite harshly, and also lied to the people who might have helped me escape the trap. Each lie added another layer of discredit to my stacks of bad judgments. I was stuck.
I could not see that my dissatisfaction stemmed from habits picked up quite early in my life; nor did I understand that I was operating in a self-fulfilling prophecy, in which I was unworthy, so I lied, which made me feel guilty and less worthy, so I lied some more, and on and on went the revolving door. I began, eventually, to realize that I was the only one who could break this cycle, though I was a long time realizing how to make that happen.
The same old history, retold ad nauseam here and everywhere, but without it, my decision to release self-blame and self-judgment wouldn’t matter much. That decision was years in coming, but took only seconds to accomplish. I made that decision consciously, which still amazes me to this day; my daily life changes more, minute by minute, from then until now, and into the future.
Which is not to say that I am permanently free of this negative influence. I learned this last week, when I missed a day of antidepressants: I became almost instantly distraught, and slipped back into self-defeat and hopelessness within a few hours. If I needed proof of the importance of my meds, I received it that day. Upon reestablishing my medication balance, my sense of guilt and judgment receded from (at least, I hope) my mind and heart.
How does this all tie to impeccability of my word? I am learning to delineate clearly between what my past makes me feel, and expectations for a self-confident adult’s natural reactions. I become more strongly rooted in this practice of separating my feelings with every opportunity I have to see the different results. As I’ve said before, not maintaining a complex tissue of lies makes life much more pleasant. I am achieving impeccability of my word, and feeling the benefits, in freedom from fear and guilt and self-criticism. An accomplishment worthy of appreciation; so I believe.