For years I heard about The Four Agreements but I never read the book. I always assumed I did not need to because I read the four agreements and 'understood' them. When I finally read the book, I realized I did not understand the four agreements at all.
Without having read the book or understood the concepts, I had intuitively integrated the concepts into my marriage since the beginning - but only my marriage.
Be Impeccable With Your Word
My interpretation of 'impeccable with your word' was: 'speak the truth,' 'keep your word,' 'do what you say, and say what you do.'
Once I read the book, I realized my complete misunderstanding.
I now understand the agreement actually means 'use words for good, avoid using words in negative ways against yourself or others.' That is a simple explanation because the book's description goes even deeper than that - but it's a start.
While discussing the concept with a friend, Tara, she said maybe it should be 'speak impeccably.' I agree. Funny how using the same words in a different order gives the phrase a completely different meaning.
Words as concepts, our 'agreement' of those concepts, and our ultimate power to change our interpretation of ourselves and life by reinterpreting our 'agreements' of what words mean, is actually the real point of the book.
But my misunderstanding did not stop at the first agreement.