Saturday, June 4, 2011

Don't Take Anything Personally

Have you ever read the book the Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz?    I have had my copy for quite sometime and have picked it up and read it several times.  I actually lent my first copy to a friend and decided it was a book that I still needed in my collection.  When I was in my 30's I did alot of soul searching and trying to make sense of my life and look for guidance and advice.  I have picked up this book again feeling that I needed some of its wisdom and some reminding to practice these valuable lessons.  Don't Take Anything Personally is actually the second agreement, and don Miguel Ruiz actually says that Be Impeccable With Your Word is the most important agreement, but I have been thinking a lot about the second agreement and wanted to share some of my thoughts and observations.

I remember when I was In grade 7 and 8 I experienced some bullying from some classmates and how painful it was and how terrible I felt.  I remember phoning my mom at work in the morning and pretending that I was sick so I could avoid the girls that weren't speaking to me.  I remember one time in particular my cousin and I were at the Great Skate on a Friday night having a great time and a bunch of friends from school were there on Monday morning everyone wouldn't speak to me, I found out they thought I was wearing too much makeup and they didn't like it.  Oh how I wish I could tell that young girl to shake it off, and Don't Take Anything Personally it is their garbage and not yours and move on with your life and know that you are wonderful and loved.  But I remember I didn't it was very painful and truthfully those were some of my roughest years of school, and when I entered high school most of those elementary school friends I left behind and met new friends, who some I still have to this day.  I have put these experiences behind me and chalk them up to experience, and with the wonderful world of Facebook I connect with those old friends.  I wasn't an angel I remember partaking in some bullying of my own which are not my proudest moments, but I am not perfect, I am human and you need to grant yourself forgiveness and well as others or you are always stuck.

Learning to not take things personally is such a hard lesson because we live in a world where people are constantly giving us their opinions and it is so hard not to be influenced by what they say.  Something that I read from this lesson that don Miguel shared was that don't take anything personally whether it is good or bad.  Have you ever had someone pay you a nice compliment and you feel a high?  But we can be taken down a notch when someone shares something negative.  Why do we always feel the tendency to share our observations with people and tell what we think is wrong with them.  Sometimes we don't directly criticize but we make jabs and flip comments bruising their character.  From my impression of what don Miguel states we are not supposed to take that personally we are to tell ourselves that what that person is saying is lies and that it is about them and not about you.  Wow, wow, wow!!!  I don't know about you but this has been a hard one for me, up until recently.  In the past I used to internalize what someone said to me and take it too heart, now I let things roll off my back and move on.  I will admit there are some things that hit a nerve but I realize that they are the agreements that I have made about myself and that is why it hits home.  I used to do a lot of negative self-talk when I was younger and I realize how damaging that was to my self-esteem.  I try not to say anything bad about myself, it doesn't always work, if I feel overwhelmed, tired, or grumpy, the crap comes up, but now I try to do something that makes me feel better so I can get out of that rut. 

This lesson as well as the others in this book have been very valuable to me, and I have recommended this book to some of my friends hoping that they will enjoy the book and get something out of it.  I would like to practice these agreements and teach my children so that when they encounter bullying, friendship troubles or their own internal battles that the will remember that they are wonderful, whole and beautiful loving individuals.  That they have an inner light and that life has rough patches but we need those in order to learn lessons and build character and it is taking us on our journey of life.

Have you ever read The Four Agreements?  What did you think of the book, what resonated with you?  Did you find it helpful?  What was your interpretation of Don't Take Anything Personally?

Take care,

1 comment:

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