Don’t Take Things Personally

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 🙂

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Humanly Flawed

Well, here I am again, fighting the dawn.

I have given up on the prospect of sleep, at least until I sort out the million and one thoughts that are racing through my head.

I have spent so much of my life in a state of worry that I don’t think I know how to function any other way. I worry myself into a frenzy whenever my mind has a chance to wander.  It’s like I’m fighting against my own insecurities and they are winning. Refusing to allow myself to relish in the moment and appreciate the many blessings in my life.

I am taking away my own joy. Talk about self destructive right?!

So what do I do to change this?

I have spent the last six months on an emotional journey of self discovery. I know I have come a long way, but there is obviously a lot more healing that needs to take place. The fact that I can identify what I am doing as I am doing it is a start I guess…

I realized today that although I have forgiven those in my past who have caused me pain, I have yet to forgive myself for the mistakes I made in the process. I still punish myself with my own words of unworthiness and inferiority. This needs to stop.

I have made mistakes and done things that I am not necessarily proud of, but it is time to move past this. It is time to allow myself to be happy without the worry that something will go wrong. And in the event that things do not turn out in my favor, I need to internalize the fact that the actions of others are not the reflection of me.

There are some things that are just not in my power to change.

What is in my power however is the ability to do the best that I can in any given situation. I am not perfect. I am humanly flawed. Cursed by the depth of my passions.

I am vulnerable, but I am strong.

In the midst of this constant need for worry, I must remind myself to find contentment in the notion that everything will be as it should be in the end.

Finding Bliss

“Imagine living your life without the fear of being judged by others. You no longer rule your behavior according to what others may think about you. You are no longer responsible for anyone’s opinion…

Imagine living without fear of loving and not being loved. You are no longer afraid to be rejected, and you don’t have the need to be accepted. You can say “I love you” with no shame or justification. You can walk in the world with your heart completely open, and not be afraid to be hurt. ” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Wouldn’t this be wonderful? I don’t know about you, but the very idea of opening up to someone is terrifying to me. I have been hurt so many times that it is hard not to allow my actions to be ruled by fear. Especially the fear of rejection. I am the type of person that when I love someone, I am all in. When I give another person my heart, I give them all of my heart. I believe very strongly that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so it is very important to me that those close to me know how much I value them.

Sounds like I’m on the right track doesn’t it? You would think so, but sadly this kindness has been taken advantage of many times before. As a result, the words “I love you” don’t come so easily to me anymore. Out of fear of rejection, I hold back my feelings, bite my tongue and stay in the safe zone.  This may prevent me from being hurt, but it will also prevent me from being free.

Ruiz tells us that it is possible to overcome this fear and live in a state of bliss. A state that he calls “the dream of heaven”.

And how do we find this state of bliss?

By changing the agreements we have unconsciously made with ourselves that we are supposed to be or not be a certain way. By letting go of our insecurities and loving ourselves for all that we are.  Only then can we be free from our hindering emotions that lead us in the wrong direction.

“The only reason you are happy is because you chose to be happy. Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering. Maybe we cannot escape from the destiny of the human, but we have a  choice: to suffer, or to love and be happy.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Catching My Breath

Well life sure knocked me on my ass this weekend. I thought I had it all figured out. I had a plan for my future and everything was slowly falling in to place. Sure, there were certain aspects of my life that were missing, but I had come to terms with the possibility that it may always be this way.

And, without notice, everything changed.

It happened so fast, I can barely catch my breath. My head is swimming, my heart is pounding and my body still trembles as I replay the best moments of my life over an over in my mind.

I built these walls around my heart for fear of letting anyone in again and just when I thought the fortress was secure, he walked in. Call it fate or divine intervention, whatever it is, I am completely terrified of it. I swore to myself I would never again let someone change my plans. I fought the idea of falling for days, but then it occurred to me, what if he is the plan? Do I stick to my convictions and risk missing out on something wonderful? Or do I take a leap of faith and risk being hurt?

No one can foresee the future, so sometimes you just have to jump in head first and hope you can remember how to swim.

Yellow Shovels

I have been throwing around the idea of working on some short fiction lately. My first attempt was a zombie fiction piece I wrote the other day on Random Thoughts from Insane Roots and it was pretty fun 🙂

Today, I decided to go through some of my old writing to look for inspiration and I find this cute little gem.

Yellow Shovels

My fondest memory shall always be of simple yellow shovels.

The first of many moments I shall hold within my heart.

Youngest hearts forever bound by simple plastic treasures that seem so silly now.

Barely capable of memory, there we stood.

No idea of what the future may hold or any conprehension of love.

Yet, I can not find a single day of my life that I have not loved you.

For as long as I can remember, you were held so deeply within my heart.

Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Do You Think This Thing We Call “Life” That We Are All Experiencing is All About?

A friend of mine messaged me on FB today with the following questions: “So what do you think is happening? Like what do you think this thing we call “life” that we are all experiencing is all about?”

I read his message over and over again. Then I just stood there for several minutes and tried to formulate an answer to such a vast question. I thought, I absolutely believe in a higher power. However, I do believe it goes beyond that…

What is it that you personally are here to do? What is your path? Your purpose? Your destiny? Having faith may lead you in the right direction, but where do you end up?

Here is what I replied:

  • Tiffany Bybee
    Tiffany

    Now that really is the million dollar question isn’t it? Growing up, I always thought of “life” like a school where we are given the same lessons and challenges each time until we get it right. Whatever “right” is. Each time we get a bit further along, but if we do not find our true path, we are sent back time and time again until we get it right. I am not sure I still believe exactly that, but I do believe we are all here in pursuit of enlightenment or greater purpose, so that maybe one day we will be able to answer that question.

    Funny you should ask me such a question right now. I just finished watching this video on YouTube, you should check it out: http://youtu.be/udAL48P5NJU

    Play Video
    Gigapixels of Andromeda [4K]

    http://www.youtube.com

    First & Last photo by Cory Poole: https://www.facebook.com/CoryPoolePhotography Music is ‘Koda – The Last Stand’ from Silk Music… Listen: http://bit.ly/1yS…
    It can really make your mind swim if you think about it long enough, but I guess that’s probably a good thing. The more we ask ourselves the tough questions, the more we yearn to find the answers. For instance, if we think about our connection to all things on an infinite level, the realization of just how intricately woven our universe really is truly amazing. The infinitely possible results of our collective action for change is empowering. Just imagine the beauty that would come from love.
    So…
    What Do You Think This Thing We Call “Life” That We Are All Experiencing is All About?
    Image courtesy of tungphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Expanding my Horizons

When I originally started this blog I was beginning my journey in reconnecting with myself and finding my true path to happiness. I ended my first post (Finding myself) with this: “I am optimistic and confident that I am on the road to success. Maybe not success in the way that everyone views it, but success for me is knowing who I am and what I want. Only then can I know how to pursue my true happiness!”

That was almost two months ago and a lot has happened since then, so I decided it was time for a flash back to ensure I am still doing what I set out to do. When I left Madison, I was feeling pretty defeated and overwhelmed. My self esteem had taken a major hit and I knew I needed to work on my confidence level or I would end up becoming a hermit who spends her days sitting at home with her cats writing instead of stepping outside to experience life. I was determined to NOT let this happen.

In the posts that followed, I explored the realm of possibilities for my future and began narrowing down the steps needed in order to better my life. I made a list of the joys in my life and have spent the days following focusing on them intently. I have made drastic changes in my diet, which I will post about at a later day (It’s going well) and I have picked up many of the activities and creative outlets that have escaped me for so many years. I have made attempts to changing my self perception and boost my self-esteem, which has resulted in the ability to slowly creep out of my shell. It’s all rather liberating!

I am not afraid to say that I am very proud of myself! Looking back on the person I was just a few months ago, I can honestly tell you that I have come a long way. I realize that one of the major reasons for my low emotional state stemmed from my fear of rejection and all of the pent up anger and hurt I was keeping bottled up inside.

In my last post to Random Thoughts from Insane Roots (one of my other blogs), I talked about forgiveness and how freeing it is to forgive those who have wronged you regardless of whether they are willing to give you the closure you are craving them to. In the end we are the most powerful force behind our own happiness. There is no question that everyone experiences trying times in life, some more than others. However, it is up to you to turn these struggles in to strength and rise above tragedy. Dwelling in anger and pain is not healthy and it will not lead you down the right path. It can actually keep you from moving in any direction at all.

One of the blogs I love to read is BodyMindHeartHealing, the author is extremely talented and her posts are always inspiring. She reminds you that the healing power is within all of us, we just need to find a way to tune our self into it. I highly recommend checking it out.

We are all on different paths and we can not let the fear of the unknown keep us from pursuing our true happiness. More over, we must rid ourselves of self-defeating thoughts and learn to love the very essence of what makes each one of us special in our own way.

Be your biggest fan, it’s okay, really 🙂