Saturday, January 14, 2012

On not taking it personally

The second of the four agreements is "do not take anything personally." Miguel Ruiz writes, "Nothing other people do is because of you. Nothing they think about you is really about you; it is about them."

I learned this lesson a couple of years into my teaching career. I stopped taking name-calling and rude behavior personally and for the most part that type of behavior ceased. I projected a less vulnerable, less affected vibe, I also asked for older students, and I didn't receive half of the crap I received my first two years teaching. I sent out radio waves of "I could care less what you think of me and I'm not taking your sh&^ personally.' I would be lying if I said this philosophy is always employed by me at school. I would be lying if I said I never take anything personally. But, I try often and succeed often.

However, I'm just now applying this philosophy to my personal relationships. I think it's harder to not take behavior and words personally when you're in a personal relationship with someone. It's hard not to take someone not speaking to you, personally. I let that kind of personal affront shackle me to discomfort and negativity. Upon rereading (first time around Eckart Tolle was my enlighten-er) this idea that I should not take others' actions and thoughts personally, I realized I will become free when I stop being concerned about this person's willfulness and rudeness and I will become free when I do this with everyone in or out of my life. Peoples' actions and words are about them. Whatever story they write and tell is about their ego (Tolle) or their fear of what might happen if they have to remove the social mask and society realizes the person is no longer perfect.

I have to let go of associating everything with me, personally, so that I can live liberally.

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