Last Thursday night, when I was in bed and ready to fall asleep, I had a thought that had me sitting bolt upright. I knew that I needed to write it down, because that helps me remember things, and this was a thing I did not want to lose to falling asleep. My actions disturbed my husband, and he asked me what was going on. Since I didn’t want to stay up late talking about it, I just told him that I needed to write something down.
Over the years, I’ve tried to live by the four agreements, because when I do that I find myself being happier. I’ve eliminated many of my anxiety monsters with the four agreements. But my monsters are clever; they know that if I fully live the four agreements, then I will have no room for them and they will die. And that’s why they try to create limitations and exceptions in how I view the agreements.
Don’t Make Assumptions. That’s an easy one, right? I took it as an admonition not to judge a book by its cover, so to speak. Not to assume things about other people based on appearance. That’s definitely a part of it – but not the whole of it. There’s more to it, and one part of that more is what jolted me out of my drift into sleep.
I have a habit of constantly thinking about how other people will react to things that I say or do. I restrict myself or, rarely, put myself out there, based on my **assumptions** about what other people might think about me, or what they might do in reaction to me. But my monsters kept me from thinking about that as being covered under Don’t Make Assumptions.
I felt as if a great burden had been lifted when I had this revelation. I felt happier. Because I was giving myself permission to let that go. Not to try to conform myself to the expectations that I think others have of me, not to try and make those guesses about what other people think… That doesn’t mean not thinking about whether what I say or do could be hurtful – I still need to Be Impeccable with my Word, after all. It just means cutting out the anxiety producing activity of assuming what other people will do and basing my actions on how they will judge me.
I told Ambrose about it later the next day. I didn’t want to wake myself and him up right then, but it felt important to share, even though I immediately started post-judging my revelation as something that’s surely obvious to everyone else. But that doesn’t matter – I’m not going to assume anything about other people; I’m just going to write.