Don't Take Anything Personally?
Are you kidding me? Don’t take anything personally?
'Don't take anything personally' is the second agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic, “The Four Agreements.” It means that whatever happens around you has nothing to do with you. All people are reacting to their own ideas, beliefs, and perceptions and their actions and reactions say more about them then about you. So, hey, no need to get your feelings hurt or get offended or have any sort of emotion - - don’t take it personally. It’s not about you.
Easier said than done.
And while philosophically, I can see the logic in this statement, MY feelings, reactions, belief systems, perceptions, are very personal to ME.
So they are personal.
I loved the book “The Four Agreements” and it really helped me (and even gave me permission) to detach from my feelings. After all, I was to take nothing personally, right? If I was hurt, angry, or upset about what someone said to me, it wasn’t about me at all, right? It was about them. And their perception. So I got really, really good at talking myself out of hurt, anger, or upset. Of course, I was still hurt, angry, or upset – I just shoved those feelings aside and thought I was doing the right thing.
I’ve even felt shamed by self-professed enlightened people who thought they were helping me when they gently (or not-so-gently) said, “don’t take it personally.”
While I agree that we are each responsible for our own reactions and behaviors, sometimes we do need to look at the motives of the other person. Were they purposely being hurtful, disrespectful, or insulting? Or maybe the other person simply misunderstood us or have a different perception and that caused them to react harshly?
Either way, if we are feeling hurt, angry, or upset, then that is OUR FEELING and it is very personal. We can feel those emotions and learn from them. What was the trigger for us? And after we give ourselves permission to feel, we can move through it – maybe even get to the bottom of it – and maybe even experience a healing.
But none of that is possible if we detach from our feelings and emotions because we aren’t supposed to take anything personally.
“People try to bottle up their emotions, as if it's somehow wrong to have natural reactions to life.” ~ Colleen Hoover, Maybe, Someday
How can we live our aligned life (expressing our genius, claiming our worth, and live the life we’re meant to live) when we’re hiding out, playing small, and not allowing ourselves to fully feel? If you can come up with a good answer to that question, I’d love to hear it!
Why am I on a kick about ‘hiding our feelings’ you might be wondering? And even if you haven’t been wondering, I’m going to tell you.
I was a master at hiding my feelings, even from an early age. I remember being on a camping trip when I was a girl scout and I had to carry a pot of boiling water from the stove to a table where we were going to wash dishes. Some of the boiling water in the pot splashed out onto me and burned my stomach . Ouch, it really hurt! But I didn’t say anything or tell anyone. I still have a burn scar on my stomach from that event.
Another time I was taking bareback horse-riding lessons and the horse stepped on my toe (I was only wearing tennis shoes 👟). Another ouch. And again, I just took the pain and didn’t say anything to anyone (no scar on that one, but a very sore toe!).
Declaring my pain in those two instances would have been a natural reaction to life. I don’t think anyone would have criticized me for saying ‘ouch, that hurt,’ yet even from that young age (I think I was around 10 years old), I must have gotten a message that it wasn’t okay to share my emotions or feelings.
My married life 💍 led me to getting a PhD in hiding my feelings. My husband would use my vulnerabilities and weaknesses against me in some sort of emotional blackmail, so I quickly learned to hide any sort of emotions that could be used against me.
How could I show up bravely, authentically, wildly, and wonderfully as me when I wasn’t being fully me? And how can you?
The thing is, by understanding and feeling your feelings, life becomes a lot juicier and a whole lot more joyful. When we "do life" from the place of knowing our worth, trusting ourselves, listening to ourselves, getting more real and honest with our feelings, and living in alignment with our true selves, magic happens.
Let the magic in!
Say “YES” to yourself and treat yourself with kindness.
Hi, I’m Janet Kingsley and for nearly two decades, I’ve been guiding women back home to themselves – to self-love, self-value, and self-respect. I offer ideas and tools to support you in making a major transformation that will help you discover what’s really valuable in life and how to live in alignment with your true essence.
Bottom Line: I help people find what’s missing so they can reclaim their own value and worth in order to live their aligned life. I’m here to remind you that you’re the one you’ve always been waiting for.
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