Last night in my workshop Live Your True Spirit in CT, our wonderful women’s group explored all the ways we suffer and hurt when we take personally things that happen in our lives. From feeling dejected when we don’t win a job, to experiencing the discomfort of disconnection from the individual we’re with, to not being liked, or being rebuffed for something we do…we agonize over the feeling that “I blew it,” or “I’m not good enough,” or “There’s a good reason this person doesn’t like me,” or “she’s wrong and I’m right!”
In the amazingly powerful little wisdom book, The Four Agreements, author Don Miguel Ruiz explores four life-changing agreements to make and live by for ultimate personal freedom, including the Second Agreement – “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” Ruiz has a treasure trove of transformational wisdom to share; in fact, I cannot count how many people have told me that this little book changed their lives (count me among them).
About taking things personally, Ruiz explains the following:
“When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions. In the same way, whatever you feel and do is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your own agreements. What you say, what you do, and the opinions you have are according to the agreements you have made – and these opinions have nothing to do with me (page 50).
He also shares his concept of the war that goes on in each of our minds, as our minds are full of conflicting voices and personalities, with different agreements that do not necessarily support each other.
Ruiz shares his belief that, “Wherever you go, you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you.”
I know in my heart Ruiz’s wisdom is right-on – the challenge is in living this truth, living this agreement each and every day, every minute. Our egos hate it – my small self wants everyone else to be wrong, and me to be right! But I’m truly tired of that way of living (I’m having one of my “allergic reactions” again!”)
I’m so thankful to my workshop attendees for reminding me of this agreement (and this little book of Four). Thanks, ladies!
Perhaps you’re ready to stop taking things personally? You’ll feel so free and strong when you do. I think it’s time to make some new agreements, yes?