Friday, February 1, 2008

Don't Take Anything Personally

I’m a pretty straightforward person. I say what’s on my mind – to the point with little embellishment. ‘Don’t ask my opinion unless you really want it’ is my usual warning to people. One co-worker actually came to me once and said, “I’ve asked everyone else, and they just tell me what they think I want to hear. I know you’ll tell me the truth.” I did.

Unfortunately, some people take my bluntness personally - almost as a personal assault. Some stew over honest words, and blow them up out of all proportion. I wish all those folks, they know who they are, would read a page from the Toltec Book of Wisdom. Number 2 of the 4 agreements states: “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others say and do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality…When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

It’s a lesson I learned long, ago in yoga meditation practice. The only opinion of me that matters to me is my own. As long as I can look in the mirror, like and respect whom I see, it is enough. I have met so many people in my 58 years on this planet. I’ve been called many things: some kind, some unkind, some true and some blatant lies. I always remind myself, and sometimes it’s been hard, that the things said are all about the sayer and have nothing to do with me.

This is a list of the Four Agreements.

Agreement 1
Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity...

Agreement 2
Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you…

Agreement 3
Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want...

Agreement 4
Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick...

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