I was recently talking with someone who was reading The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. We began discussing the four agreements which are 1. Be impeccable with your word 2. Don't take anything personally 3. Don't make assumptions 4. Always do your best.
Agreement number 2, don't take anything personally stuck out to me the most. This is so hard to do, and one that I am guilty of breaking all too often. Primarily, I believe we connect this agreement to mean don't take others' actions or words personally, but how about events. We don't get hired for a job and so often we think it's about us, that we're not good enough. Seemingly bad things happen and we ask "why me?", blaming the universe for not being on your side. Too often we make things personal, we take them personally. Too often we go to a place where we think others' actions, or negative events are because we said something wrong, or weren't good enough. How much suffering could we avoid if we could stop taking things personally? How much suffering could we avoid if we realized that others' judgements about us are more often a reflection of what's inside them rather than what's inside us? How much suffering could we avoid if we realized that we don't know it all, and what seems like a negative event in the moment might actually turn out to be a positive in the long-run? Whenever I find myself in a negative headspace, telling myself negative stories, feeling sorry for myself, or resentful towards others, I find I'm taking things personally. Stopping and bringing awareness that I'm taking things personally is often enough to shift my headspace and mood. Realizing when you're taking things personally can help to break the illusion that your thoughts are reality. So this weekend, if you find yourself angry, bitter, resentful, or just feeling sorry for yourself, see if you might be taking things personally and it may just help to prevent the onset of your next bad mood. Happy Weekend!