There’s a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz
Already time for another Weekly Unpack. The year is really moving quickly!
Today’s quote is from Mexican author Don Miguel Ruiz, and I think many of us will find it relevant.
In Ruiz’s little book of ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements, the second agreement (that you can make with yourself) is Don’t take anything personally. Do you have a habit of breaking this rule?
I used to be terrible at this. I would overthink comments people made, I would bend and twist this way and that to make sure people saw me in a certain way because I took their opinions of me to heart. But at the end of the day, they saw me the way they chose to anyway, no matter how I contorted myself. I had to stop taking their thoughts about me personally, and let go.
It wasn’t an easy process, it took a lot of time and a lot of inner work, but for the most part I can now move through life without the heavy weight of other peoples opinions dragging me down.
It might be shocking to hear, but taking things personally is one of life’s most selfish acts. When we take something personally we make it about us. We automatically disregard whatever might be happening for someone else that had them say or do or think a certain thing, and we turn it all onto ourselves. We assume that we are the cause of the particular behaviour, forgetting that each of us lives in our own world, and all of our worlds are completely different.
When we make the choice to stop making things about us, we can avoid so much unwarranted pain. As Ruiz states in the book, “your anger, jealousy, and envy will disappear, and even your sadness will simply disappear” and you will experience incredible peace and freedom. And further to that, you will be able to see those around you as they truly are, rather than how they appear through the lens of your own self. What a wonderful gift to be able to give them.
[There’s so much more to this than we can possibly cover in a couple of minutes, so you might want to read the whole book for yourself: The Four Agreements]
How can you build a strong habit of not taking anything personally? How can you start to fully see the important people in your life?
Have a beautiful week. See you next Sunday!
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