“How in the world do I not take things personally?” I asked. This idea was about as foreign as anything I’d ever heard. I took things personally all the time. At work, at home, even out running errands. If a clerk wasn’t nice to me, I’d take it personally, and of course, driving was a problem for me. There was something wrong with everybody on the road… either they were going too slow and they were in my way, or they were going too fast, and I was in their way.
In reading this book “The Four Agreements”, of which this idea of not taking things personally is the second agreement, I began to understand more about myself. Here is a wonderful passage; “No, I don’t take it personally. Whatever you think, whatever you feel, I know is your problem and not my problem. It is the way you see the world. It is nothing personal, because you are dealing with yourself and not me. Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them.”
This is when I understood that everything I said was about me. Everything I say is about how I feel about myself, and at the time, it turns out that I had very little love for Kyle. As a matter of fact, I was my worst enemy. But if everything I say is about me, then it must be this way with you too. Everything you say is about you. Then I began to get it. I needed some serious “inner work”, but until now, I was not aware of what was going on!
Don Miguel says; “Your point of view is something personal to you. It’s no one’s truth but yours. Then if you get mad at me, I know you are dealing with yourself. I am the excuse for you to get mad. And you get mad because you are afraid, because you are dealing with fear. If you are not dealing with fear, there is no way you will get mad at me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will hate me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will be jealous or sad.” and then, “If you live without fear, if you love, there is no place for any of these emotions. If you don’t feel any of these emotions, it is logical that you will feel good. When you feel good, everything around you is good. When everything around you is great, everything makes you happy. You are loving everything that is around you, because you are loving yourself.”
This was a total life-changer for me. The more I examined this idea, I began to see how much it tied in to the first spiritual lesson that I was ever taught; I alone, am responsible for my own thoughts, feeling, and actions. When I take things personally, the first thing out of my mouth is “You made me feel this way!” and this is a serious no no. The second agreement helped me to take this lesson to a deeper level in that, I am responsible for myself, but this means that I am not responsible for you. If I am not responsible for your thoughts, feelings, and actions, if they really are not my responsibility, then how could I take them personally?
It turns out that even when someone compliments us, we are not to take that personally either; “If they tell you how wonderful you are, they are not saying that because of you. You know you are wonderful. It is not necessary to believe other people that tell you that you are wonderful. Don’t take anything personally.”
I highly suggest this book to everyone, and if you’d like to get a copy for yourself, HERE is a link.