The first and most important agreement

The first and most important agreement

by don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills

The first and most important of The Four Agreements is be impeccable with your word. The word is your power of creation, and that power can be used in more than one direction. One direction is impeccability, where the word creates a beautiful story — your personal heaven on earth. The other direction is misuse of the word, where the word destroys everything around you, and creates your personal hell.

The word, as a symbol, has the magic and power of creation because it can reproduce an image, an idea, a feeling, or an entire story in your imagination. Just hearing the word horse can reproduce an entire image in your mind. That’s the power of a symbol. But it can even be more powerful than that. Just by saying two words, The Godfather, a whole movie can appear in your mind. This is your magic, your power of creation, and it begins with the word.

Perhaps you can understand why the Bible says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” According to many religions, in the beginning nothing existed, and the very first thing that God created was the messenger, the angel who delivers a message. You may understand the need for something that could transfer information from one place to another place. Of course, from nowhere to nowhere seems a little complicated, but it’s very simple at the same time. God created the word, and the word is a messenger. Then if God created the word to deliver a message, and if the word is a messenger, then that is what you are: a messenger, an angel.

The word exists because of a force that we call life, intent, or God. The word is the force; it is the intent, and that’s why our intent manifests through the word no matter what language we speak. The word is so important in the creation of everything, because the messenger starts to deliver messages, and the entire creation appears out of nowhere.

God creates reality, and we re-create reality with the word. The virtual reality that we create is a reflection of reality; it’s our interpretation of reality by use of the word. Nothing can exist without the word, because the word is what we use to create everything that we know.

Impeccability of the word is so important because the word is you, the messenger. The word is all about the message you deliver, not just to everyone and everything around you, but the message you deliver to yourself.

You’re telling yourself a story, but is it the truth? If you’re using the word to create a story with self-judgment and self-rejection, then you’re using the word against yourself, and you’re not being impeccable. When you’re impeccable, you’re not going to tell yourself, “I’m old. I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m not good enough. I’m not strong enough. I’m never going to make it in life.” You’re not going to use your knowledge against yourself, which means your voice of knowledge is not going to use the word to judge you, find you guilty, and punish you. Your mind is so powerful that it perceives the story that you create. If you create self-judgment, you create inner conflict that’s nothing but a nightmare.

Your happiness is up to you, and it depends on how you use the word. If you get angry and use the word to send emotional poison to someone else, it appears that you’re using the word against that person, but you’re really using the word against yourself. That action is going to create a like reaction, and that person is going to go against you. If you insult someone, that person may even harm you in response. If you use the word to create a conflict in which your body may be injured, of course it’s against you.

Be impeccable with your word really means never use the power of the word against yourself. When you’re impeccable with your word, you never betray yourself. You never use the word to gossip about yourself or to spread emotional poison by gossiping about other people.

You are the creator of your own life story. If you use the word impeccably, just imagine the story that you are going to create for yourself. You’re going to use the word in the direction of truth and love for yourself. You’re going to use the word to express the truth in every thought, in every action, in every word you use to describe yourself, to describe your own life story. And what will be the result? An extraordinarily beautiful life. In other words, you are going to be happy.

As you can see, impeccability of the word goes much deeper than it seems. The word is pure magic, and when you adopt the first agreement, magic just happens in your life. Your intentions and desires come easily because there is no resistance, there is no fear; there is only love. You are at peace, and you create a life of freedom and fulfillment in every way. Just this one agreement is enough to completely transform your life into your personal heaven. Always be aware of how you are using the word, and be impeccable with your word.


Adapted from The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery. Copyright© 2010 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D., Jose Luis Ruiz, and Janet Mills. Reprinted by Permission of Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California.

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