I love the book the 4 agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (its one of the books in my “inspiration” tab on my website). Really simple and yet very powerful. I haven’t read the book in a while, but I have a deck of his cards that have one of each of the agreements and a sentence or two about them. I like to now and then pick one and I usually always get something out of the review.
One of the cards “Don’t take things personally”, his second “agreement” caught my attention over the last few days. He defines the second agreement as…
“Nothing others 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.”
I noticed and thought about how powerful this is. I have definitely gotten better at not taking things personally, but boy it is hard sometimes. I think the bottom line is that when one has a “need” to be accepted, this is when one can really be effected by the opinions of others.
I find that because I am confident and like who I am and am at peace with the way I am, then I do not really care if someone says “John, I don’t like your clothes, you’re too skinny, too fat, you should live this way or that, etc”. Everyone is really only expressing their own individual beliefs and opinions, based on their views and interpretations of their life experiences.
So, it does not make sense to take on an other’s criticism or opinions when it really has nothing to do with you?
Ruiz says in the book when you take these things on as true, your accepting poison from another. I like to think of “poison” as the emotional garbage someone else is throwing out. I certainly like the practice not being the trash can for anyone!