6-23-19 Don’t Take Anything Personally

Don’t Take Anything Personally

“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…” — John Lennon

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. (Being immune does not mean you do not hear or care what others say and do, but you do not let it ill-affect you.) You can have “positive emotional detachment.” I am not speaking about indifference, staying away from people, or stifling your emotions due to the fear that you might get hurt. Create a healthy space between yourself and your reactions. 

Your initial response might be to react emotionally. If possible, don’t follow that knee-jerk reaction. Take the time to rein in your emotions and assess what’s really happening before you respond. A good visual is to imagine yourself in the middle of a meadow with a white picket fence surrounding it. That’s your space. No one is permitted within it unless you allow them in.

When I allow others to be who they are, to act how they do…when I do not try to fix them or permit resentment to overcome me, I feel and see a completely new and wonderful world. Compassion and love are the foremost feelings that then guide me. I let the light shine.

When I first entered recovery, I had a long way to go before I could think clearly and begin to trust myself. I had engaged in nothing but lies and manipulations. At first I needed to NOT trust myself, look at all the terrible decisions I had made to serve only myself, which had made a mess out of my life. I had to listen to people who had been where I had been and had learn to step out of selfishness and more into reality and a truthful engagement in life.

I can and still do engage in deceiving myself about what is true and how I permit outside influences to define me. Those influences—work, relationships, money, resentments, fear, and joy—are important in my life, but I define fewer things as good or bad. Who I am is now defined more by my connection with a higher plane of acceptance and resiliency and a sense of welcoming a full and amazing life. As I grow and learn in recovery, and work on expanding my spiritual life to be ever present, I feel calmer, more worthy and connected. Finally, I feel connected to a reality that is rich and good. I am waking up. 

Over years, our mind has filled with beliefs that generate incessant thinking. In all that thinking we have many assumptions that we are not aware of. We even make the assumption that what we think is true. We imagine and assume what others think of us and how they will react. We also assume that the judgments and self-criticisms we have are true. We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t aware of. These assumptions are not the truth. You can change your life by refusing to believe in lies. Start with the lies that limit the expression of your happiness, lies from yourself and from others. If you stop believing in lies, your life will be free of fear, drama, and conflict. This is the absolute truth, and I cannot put it more simply than that. don Miguel Ruiz 

If you get mad at me, I know you are dealing with yourself. I am the excuse for you to get mad. And you get mad because you are afraid, because you are dealing with fear. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will get mad at me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will hate me. If you believe what someone else says about you, you are trusting someone else to tell you who you are, instead of relying on what you know to be true about yourself; what really defines you as a person without any outside influence, your innate spirit. In essence, taking things personally keeps you tied to someone else and, in the extreme, can even make you feel like a victim.

Have empathy for the other person. Recognize that when someone else is being rude or cruel, they are in pain and projecting that to us.  When we see that pain, instead of taking it to heart, we can perhaps help with a calm, kind, intelligent reply. 

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. The mind has the ability to talk to itself, but it also has the ability to hear information that is available from other realms. Sometimes you hear a voice in your mind, and you may wonder where it came from. We need to quiet our minds to hear our inate wisdom and strength, and the good sense God gave us. Trust yourself! 

We are often dependent upon others for our happiness, our security (emotional, financial, or otherwise), and sometimes for our safety. We often look to others to fill our needs. When these others are supportive, encouraging, caring, and giving we may feel fairly satisfied in our life. But when those we are attached to are judgmental and critical, even aggressive and abusive toward us, we may find ourselves in conflict, caught between the need to have these people in our life for whatever reason, and satisfying our own needs. Sometimes, we make a “bargain with the devil” and end up giving a lot of ourselves away in order to placate a significant other. Taking things personally is often a by-product of this bargain. Do you perceive that there may be a high price to pay if you disagree or challenge them? Do you really need this person’s approval? Or do you really need to change someone, to dominate them? Try changing yourself.

“It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.” Peter Ustinov. Keep a light touch with life, sunlight has no weight but it illuminates all things.It is important to consider what someone else says. If you can have a healthy boundary so you aren’t letting someone lay a guilt or fear trip on you, you can listen dispassionately and see if there is any truth to what they say or not. People are usually coming from their emotions, or their own story line when communicating. But if you can dismiss that which is not real, you may hear what they are really saying. You may get some useful information about yourself.

You learn to rely more on yourself, while cultivating healthy relationships that you choose. You will be surprised at how much more you will appreciate and deepen your relationships with others when you are clear-eyed, unafraid and wanting, eager, to engage in all of what life offers. 

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. 
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Heart of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com