by don Miguel Ruiz
The second set of
boundaries we create is because of other people's wounds, so we don't
allow other people to give us their emotional poison.
When we are young, we
play with other children to have fun, not to insult them or to give them
our poison. As adults, we also want to have relationships that we enjoy. We don't want poison like anger, jealousy, or envy. We don't want each
other's garbage. When get together, it's because we want to share our love
and our joy.
When we are no longer
wounded, and we are in a relationship, we can put up boundaries to
restrict another's poison. We call that respect.
We don't want to have
relationships that are disrespectful to us. For example, if I am in a
relationship with someone and that person tries to control me, I can tell
them, "Okay this is the limit. Don't cross this limit. You can be
with me or not, but if you stay with me don't try to control me. Give me
my space, and I will give you your space. I deal with my garbage, you deal
with your garbage. If you are cranky, I will give you space. You can be
cranky, it's okay, there's nothing personal. I respect you, and I want
respect also. If you don't respect me, I will not stay with you and it
doesn't mean that I don't love you, no… I love you. But if I'm not being
respected, I will leave and you can be with someone who is the way you
want them to be."
We can create acceptable
boundaries with people whose emotional poison we do not want to eat. When
we respect ourselves, we will not allow disrespect from anybody else. This
is not selfishness, it's self-love. The controlling aspect is
selfishness--wanting a partner to stay with us even if we are in hell. If
we go into relationships because, "Oh I need you so much," it's
selfishness, not self-love.
We need to understand
that self-love is completely different from selfishness. Self-love come
from integrity. We recognize our integrity through our feelings. The
feelings we have are real. If we don't feel good it's because something is
not right. If we feel anger, we know that something is not right. If we
feel envy or jealousy, something is not right. Jealousy is not bad, anger
is not bad either. These emotions are telling us when something is not
Repressing emotions is
not the answer…to change the cause of the emotions is the answer. If we
feel anger or jealousy, we have to take one step back to see what is
causing those emotions. If we change the cause, the affect also will
A love relationship
should be based in respect. And that's why we put boundaries on our
relationships. The boundary is not, "Don't touch me because I can get
hurt." The boundary is a way to have someone show respect. We don't
want their anger or their judgment.
Relationships can be so
wonderful. We can be completely open and loving. But just because we love
someone, that doesn't mean we have to put up with their anger, jealousy or
abuse. We don't need to be abused, and we can't send out our abuse either.
This is a way of having
relationships based in love. A selfish relationship is not based in love.
" I love you if you let me control you. I love you if you do whatever
I want you to do. If you are not the way I want you to be, then I won't
love you." This is not love. "I will stay with you even if you
abuse me, even if you mistreat me." That is not love either. How can
we love if we don't love ourselves?
With self-love and
self-respect life can be completely different. We can make life easy or we
can make it difficult. The only one who suffers or enjoys the consequences
is us. If we have children, and something happens to them then yes, we
feel emotional pain. Sometimes we can get sick, and be cranky, why not?
But it's not personal. We don't have to give our poison to anybody else.
Life can be a playground.
We can create new habits and routines that are automatic and lead us to
happiness, and to the enjoyment of life. We can play and have fun most of
the time, and be loving all the time, for no reason. We don't need any
justification to love. It just feels good. Love coming out of us is what
makes life happy.
A near death experience brought his wake-up call. I saw that I
existed separate from my body. So I asked myself, if I am not this body,
what am I? Don Miguel's survival allowed him the opportunity to begin
freeing himself from his limiting belief system. He devoted himself to the
mastery of the ancestral wisdom by studying intensely with his mother and
completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert.
His grandfather, who had since passed on, continued to teach him in his
Don Miguel's work has evolved in preparation for the recent
emergence of the Sixth Sun of the Mayan Calendar, prophesied by the
ancients to be an extraordinary period of personal and planetary change.
In the tradition of the Toltec, a nagual guides an individual to personal
freedom. Combining new insights with old wisdom, don Miguel teaches that
the path to personal freedom is the first step of a progression. The
ultimate goal is to change the collective dream of the planet.
The Four Agreements, a New York Times best seller,
The Mastery of Love,
and The Four Agreements Companion Book
Reprinted by permission
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