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Don't Take Anything Personally

From The Second Agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: 

You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell. What causes you to be trapped is what we call personal importance. Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me”Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.

How many times have you said to someone, “it’s not all about you”? Or perhaps have you heard that spoken to you?

There is so much power in this second agreement. What old tapes are running around in your head from childhood? From a past relationship? From a job? Did someone tell you that you were not measuring up to THEIR expectations? You weren’t fulfilling their needs? Or that you are a valued person/employee but ………… We need to learn not to take these words or actions personally.

When someone says to you “you hurt my feelings” they are really talking about their brokenness and not about you. When someone blames you for their feelings, they are casting blame away from themselves because that’s what we as humans do. We initially deny and redirect blame before we’ve thought things through. I’m sorry, but in my personal opinion, I am not responsible for ANY of YOUR feelings. You own them and you are responsible for them. Just as I own mine and am responsible for mine. So, while what I said may or may not have been nice, how you took it on, assumed it, that is on you. Just the same, how I interpret or receive a message from someone else, is on me. If I am hurt, that is my responsibility. If I take it personally, that is responsibility.

The real key here is learn from the way we teach our children. When you child comes home upset that someone has made fun of them, how do you handle it? Of course, you tell them that there is nothing wrong with them and that it was the other child who must be dealing with something so they lash out at others. It’s the same thing folks ….. don’t take anything personally.

If you do your best to practice these first two agreements, you will find emotional peace in your life.  If we could master these, we would eliminate 95% of the miscommunication in our lives. Write these agreements down and tape them to your bathroom mirror: don’t take things personally and be impeccable with your word. Be the person that you are capable of being, not only with what comes out of your mouth but how you handle what comes from others.


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