I was listening to an interview with don Miguel Ruiz about his new book, The Fifth Agreement, when he said this: “The biggest lie on the planet is ‘nobody’s perfect.’ It’s an excuse. Everyone is perfect. It’s just that humans don’t understand their perfection.”

Wow. I like it. A lot. But can I dare say, without hesitation, “I am perfect”? I’d like to, with the understanding that I believe we’re all perfect. And also that, when I feel perfect, I help others feel their own perfection (value and worth). And when we’re all feeling our value and worth, we act accordingly. And the world becomes a better place.

It’s like being the embodiment of this quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I have not yet read The Fifth Agreement, but I have always admired Ruiz’ philosophy (which he first put forth in The Four Agreements, which was published in 1997) and so I’ve been reading everything I can about it.

I read The Four Agreements when it first came out and it was life-changer, for sure, but in ways I didn’t understand immediately.

The Four Agreements are:

Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

Always do your best. Your  best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

And now we have the Fifth Agreement: Be skeptical but learn to listen.

According to Ruiz, the first four agreements deal with our relationship to ourselves and how to create a happy life, and the fifth agreement deals with our relationship to others, and how to create a better world.

“With the fifth agreement we no longer believe what everybody says about us or whatever story they believe. There is the truth, and then there’s everything we say about ourselves and others, which is only a relative truth because language puts limitations on the truth.”

Ruiz also says:

“Wherever you go around the world, you will hear all kinds of opinions and stories from other people. You will find great storytellers wanting to tell you what you should do with your life: ‘You should do this, you should do that, you should do whatever.’ Don’t believe them. And then make your choices. Be responsible for every choice you make in your life. This is your life; it’s nobody else’s life, and you will find that it’s nobody else’s business what you do with your life.”

How does that relate to the perfection thing?

Well, according to the publisher of the book (Hay House), “the Fifth Agreement is made with words, but its meaning and intent are beyond the words. The Fifth Agreement is ultimately about seeing your whole reality with the eyes of truth, without words. The result of practicing the Fifth Agreement is the complete acceptance of yourself just the way you are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is your eternal happiness.”

Isn’t that what I’ve been saying?? I’m not 100% there yet…but I am really enjoying the journey these days. I am becoming my very own masterpiece.

And it very much relates to a quote I love from the book Eat, Pray, Love: “God dwells within you, as you yourself, just the way you are.” I’ve written about this before, but will say it again: before I read that sentence, I didn’t believe in God. After I read it, I did. But not according to any specific religion.

And finally, I want to leave you with this from Liz Owens, who writes the blog Mable’s House

“I used to believe that happy, optimistic people were just in denial. That they weren’t as realistic as the rest of us. But not anymore. Optimists just make better choices. They choose to believe God is good. They choose to believe their lives are good. And maybe ‘optimist’ is the wrong label. Maybe the right label should simply be ‘thankful.'”