I often talk about timing. Things happen in certain sequences not only for dramatic effect, but for some kind of reason. Usually when you really pay attention to a sequence of events, you find that reason over time and you get why things lined up exactly the way they did when they did.
I’m currently reading “The Four Agreements” and yes, it is one of those self-help enlightenment books that folks like Oprah thought were all life-changing and amazing.
But I have a few opinions on this book. I’m not done yet, but I’d like to share what I’ve taken from it thus far.
First, I think reading this book while I’m attempting to go natural with my hair helps really clarify a lot of my original fears of wearing my natural hair.
*Meaning I’m growing out my chemical relaxer which straightens my hair.
The premise of the book is that there are things society, our family, friends, enemies and we agree and believe them. Because of what we are trained to believe, we can even tell ourselves positive or negative things and we’ll agree with them and believe them to be proper and correct also.
As far as black women and hair, we had society telling us we were not attractive if we were not as close to looking European as possible. So even if we couldn’t alter our skin color, we for damn sure straightened our hair. In turn, society responded to us more positively and particularly men.
But we can change what we believe and what we agree to and I think by reading about going natural and hearing stories about how liberating it was for women and just the celebration of natural hair on pinterest and seeing women in a lot of television commercials with kinky, wavy, curly or super short hair, reconditioned me.
I wore my hair in a fro in public for the first time, and I actually felt good about it. Those other women were letting me know it was ok, and in turn, I believed it, agreed, and now I think I can wear my hair almost anyway I want.
I also believe and agree that I can wear my hair straight from time to time too and I won’t be turning on my culture or hating myself. LOL.
It made me think of relationships. It made me think of what the men in my life found as beautiful. I could either agree or disagree with them and keep it moving. Same thing about my weight.
At one point, it did seem like the Four Agreements was promoting narcissistic behavior and dismissing the thoughts of others and becoming disconnected and diluted.
But when you put all four agreements together, and practice them intently, it’s completely far from that. You are more cognizant of yourself and what you say and how you treat others.
The other agreements are not to make assumptions and to always do your best.
So when you think about it, if you use your words wisely and in positive ways, if you don’t tear down others, or gossip, or set out to hurt people, if you don’t make assumptions, if you seek clarity from people and you always do your best, then that isn’t being selfish or narcissistic. You are just being a great citizen the not taking things personally or believing everything people say to you and taking it as gospel is not being delusional or dismissive.
I think the book asks us to come from a place of honesty in all that we do and seek positivity. Negative things will happen and you will be misunderstood, but you have to shake it off and not let it as one guy I knew would always tell me, “not shape your ball of clay.”
It’s made me think of what people have said about me and how I let what they said shape what I think of myself and what a huge effect that has on everything. How do I use my words? Am I putting out poison because of my own problems, hang ups and insecurities?
Sometimes the wordage can be repetitive or even seem way out there, but with an open mind, as you read, you can pick out things that resonate.
I have a feeling I’ll be rereading this from time to time.