Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering
This is second agreement from the book Four Agreements. What a sage advice? Can we not take anything personally?
This reminded me an incident which is quite dated but still when I remember it, I feel it has happened just now. I had purchased a new blue colored Sedan. I was driving it to a resort with family. On the road I overtook a mini van carrying goods. On my right there was a road divider, hence to avoid it I swerved my car slightly left while overtaking. And I passed the van so close that I heard metal scratching noise. I ignored it and reached my destination. When I got down and saw a big scratch on the left door of my car. I was aghast. I felt very bad. The scratch really gnawed at my heart. I felt pain as if I myself has been bruised. And I was not able to enjoy the lunch at the place. Now I realize that I took that incident personally. Is it not?
One more thing I remember. I had visited a new restaurant in the town. I liked the food, the ambience, the service there so much that I decided to take my few friends there on a weekend. We arrived there and were greeted warmly. We ordered food and had a leisurely dinner while talking. While leaving I asked my friends – So how was it. The reply was -it was good. Somehow, I felt the reply was not enthusiastic. On that day I also felt the food was not up to the mark as I had expected. But the remark made me feel bad. I felt hurt. Now I realize that I took that remark personally. I had not made the food, nor had I served it. But still I felt a pain in my heart.
I realized that I should have got this advice earlier. Don’t take anything personally. We are so invested and attached to the outcome that we take things personally. For our own improvement it is sometimes necessary to take things personally. But not to heart. We should be able to learn our lesson and move on.
The advice is simple but seems very difficult to implement. How you can not take things personally. Our whole conditioning is such that we always take things as to how those will affect us? All our activities are strengthening our Ego and we become so accustomed to it that we forget that there is any other way to live.
Don Miguel Ruiz has said that what others say and do is a projection of their reality. A human being always lives in his reality which he has created over his life. And that reality is made up of his own thoughts, mental models, conditioning. So when someone says something or does something we should not take it personally. How can we implant this agreement in our mind and act accordingly? Are there any ways to behave in this fashion?
I found a beautiful article on internet on this. Please see link below.
I think we should be able to cultivate a witness mode of living. What is this? Try, if you can see what is happening inside and outside of you, as a witness. See what you are doing , what thoughts are moving in your mind as a witness who is away from yourself. I know this is pretty difficult. But even a 5% success will reveal how much life is conditioned by me thoughts and that drives us to take things personally. Being aware is the antidote to this me centeredness.
“Rather than being thoughts and emotions be the awareness behind them.” Echkart Tolle.