One of the hardest things in this life is not knowing where you stand with someone.
Especially if you know exactly where they stand with you.
After reading The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, I have been making a conscious effort to make these new agreements with myself that he says will change my life. My favorite of the four is “Don’t take things personally”. For me, this is also by far the most challenging.
For many years, I have taken everything personally. The words of others shoot directly to my heart. I internalize them as absolute truth. In many cases, this is my biggest mistake.
The truth is people are inherently selfish and unintentionally self involved. The actions of others are a reflection of themselves and no one else. Therefore nothing they say or do should be taken personally.
It’s a hard concept to wrap your brain around, but once you do I would imagine the feeling to be freeing!
For example, in love we would hold no expectations, allowing us to appreciate the moments we shared without worry of what will or will not manifest. There would be no fear of rejection, because we would know in our heart that should our love not be returned, it is not our fault. It is nothing we have done or not done well enough. The feelings of others are beyond our control.
When we fall for someone (especially when we don’t plan to) we become vulnerable to their actions before we have a chance to rationalize how it will feel if they don’t join us in the fall. Our need for acceptance and reciprocation become all-consuming. Each day that passes is a struggle to keep it cool for fear of making the wrong move. We want so badly to tell them just how we feel, but instead we let this fear hold us back.
I don’t know about you, but for me loving someone is beyond terrifying. I have been hurt so many times before that just the idea of going through that again makes my stomach turn. In the beginning it’s always great! Like that moment I wrote about on Insane Roots yesterday; A twinkle of Ecstasy with a Hint of Fear!
But knowing how it will feel if it doesn’t work out brings warnings for extreme caution. No one wants to be the one to put themselves out there. Myself included.
If we were to learn not to take things personally, we may have an easier time of finding the courage to be the one who takes the first step to say “I miss you” or “I’m thinking of you”. If we received an undesired response and didn’t take it personally, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much. We wouldn’t think of it as rejection, but rather divine intervention that we were embarking on the wrong path.
When you think of it this way, the actions of others serve as your compass. Leading you to your final destination. When we reach a dead-end, we can be excited for the journey ahead and thankful that time has been kind to save us from drowning in something that was not meant to be.
If we are impeccable with our word, don’t make assumptions and act out of love and kindness, then there is no need to take things personally because we know we are always doing our best to be true and honest.
I’m sure you can see why this is my favorite and the most challenging of Ruiz’s agreements for me.
If I am being honest, I may have grasped the concept, but acting on it is an entirely different thing!
Oh well, we all have to start somewhere 🙂
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