Walking into Crossroads for Women for the first time was like walking into someone’s home; I was instantly struck by a sense of community. That feeling grew after sitting in on Life on Life’s Terms, a weekly group run by KC Quirk. Based on The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, the women talk about using the agreements to work through difficulties in their own lives.
KC has been using The Four Agreements for years; “It came my way as another tool in the tool box, a self-help type thing.” KC says the agreements “just seemed to fit with what the women are trying to do in their lives… they’re learning tools to help them do this thing called life clean and sober.”
The Four Agreements are: be impeccable with your word; don’t take anything personally; don’t make assumptions; and always do your best.
The night I attended group, they had just finished reading the book. The topics were accepting death, and the importance of living in the moment. One woman read a related passage from Ruiz’s book, and KC reflected on how easy it is to live in the past, and forget what’s happening right now. We get distracted trying to accumulate money and possessions, hoping that will make us happy. But the women acknowledged that it can also cause a lot of problems.
Another discussion explored, can you be truly happy for other people’s good fortune? Or do you feel some jealousy too? KC noted that it’s easy to say you’ll feel happy for someone else’s success, but it’s not always easy to do. The Four Agreements prompts KC to ask, “How evolved are we really? Are we able to be supportive and elevate each other?”
Annette, who has been at Hope House for 10 months, has found KC’s Tuesday night group to be a vital part of her recovery. She can see the impact that negative beliefs have had on her life; but in Life on Life’s Terms, she learned “don’t make assumptions.” For Annette, that means, don’t believe all the negative assumptions you make. “If you can get a handle on not making assumptions, that’s life changing. And it’s one of the hardest ones.”
KC will be leaving Crossroads for Women soon, and she will be missed. “I hope the new Executive Director continues with the group and the Four Agreements. I have seen the impact the Four Agreements have had on the other women. I’ve seen the impact it has on KC. She doesn’t just teach us and talk to us but she also learns from us,” Annette said.
It was an honor to be invited into Life on Life’s Terms and to learn about the women’s lives. I was inspired to see how Ruiz’s message of empathy, understanding, and love is threaded into the very fabric of Crossroads for Women.
–Written by Susan Torres