“As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others say or do. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you.”
Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
Don’t Take Things Personally.
This is the second in a series of articles about the work of Don Miguel Ruiz
The First of the four Agreements was Be Impeccable with Your Word. The second of the Four Agreements is Don’t Take Things Personally.
This Agreement is a real show-stopper. We have a difficult time putting this agreement to work in our lives. Oh, we say we can do it. But just let someone insult you or yours and see the reaction that happens. The Zen in us just flies out the window. Why is this idea so hard to put into practice?
Ruiz talks in his book about how we are all “Domesticated” as children. We are domesticated when we learn the rules of life and live by them. We learn right and wrong, good and bad and we continue to follow these rules without question into adulthood.
The Rules then become a belief. Then we impose them on others and the beliefs become the measuring stick we use to judge others… and ourselves. And in that judging of others, we begin to take things personally. If someone is judging you by what they say, then we retaliate with judgment. Instead of saying to ourselves, ‘They are judging us out of their own fears’, we feel the need to defend ourselves. And most judgment comes from our own expectations of how things should look. We will continually be disappointed if we EXPECT people to be or act a certain way. But our rule books say this is true and it takes a great deal of courage to throw out the Rules and find out who we truly are without it.
Once we begin to find our own true selves and are happy with us, we no longer need or care what others think or do. It becomes altogether their issue, not ours.
We can live within our own beliefs and be comfortable without the consent or approval of others. When that happens we no longer feel the need to judge. We also are able to walk away from the once perceived insults and we don’t take things personally.