I really loved the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz.  I thought the concepts were great and I wanted to find a way to integrate them into my life, along with my other spiritual practices and beliefs.  It's important to me when I read or work with spiritual concepts that I make them personal to me.  It's the only way it seems to work for me.

One of the concepts that really hit home for me was "Don't Take Anything Personally."  Ruiz talks about how people are coming from their experiences and their story when they talk to us or talk about us or create any interaction with us. 

This was a challenge for me, especially when someone was upset with me.  How could it not be about me?  Well, it truly isn't.  Here's an example.

Did you ever have conflict with someone over a misunderstanding?  You have your idea, they have their idea.  You're both coming from different places, your story.  The other person can tell you you're wrong but that is from their point of view.  From yours, you were right!   It just shows how each person interprets the information differently. 

So how do you handle conflict without taking it personally?  It can be that you understand where the person is coming from but you don't absorb it as your fault.  You look at it detached and say "What could I have done better?" and learn from it.  If you take it personally, you'll get wrapped up in those feelings of guilt, upset, sadness, hurt and more feelings that won't serve or grow you.  Honor where the person is coming from but understand they are interpreting it from their point of view and their perspective and their story, not yours. 

When you don't take anything personally, you start to notice that inside voice that speculates stops.  The "why did they do that?  what did they mean by that?  what should I think of them doing (or not doing) x, y, z" just stops.  You don't get caught up in the drama of trying to figure them out.  It's not your responsibility to figure them out.  It's your responsibility to figure you out.

It's challenging but when you start to think about situations you have with others, say to yourself "I'm not going to take it personally.  I'm going to learn from it and grow" and find the lessons in it.  Once you do that, the drama of trying to understand others, worrying about what others have said, done, not done, etc., goes away, leaving you to move forward.  It doesn't mean you don't understand someone's point of view or concerns, it means that you just see it at face value.  Once you do that, watch what freedom you experience.

~Copyright 2011, Mary D'Alba (Spiritualitygirl)~