Challenge Day 21: It’s Not Personal

Yesterday’s challenge was to be impeccable with my word, the first of don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements.  I have taken on these agreements in the past and done relatively well.  They have been very helpful but not lasting.  I have to keep reminding myself to keep doing them or they disappear.

This time was no less difficult.  I’m very clear that the words that come out of my mouth shape my world and give me the life that I have, but that doesn’t remove the inclination to grumble, exaggerate and use words to fuel dissatisfaction instead of staving it.  Most of this month’s challenges have had some element of being mindful of what I say and think.  Being impeccable with my word requires a vigilance that is not my norm.

As usual, I did well until I came across a situation where my upset trumped my commitment to an extraordinary life.  In those cases, I’ve had to go back and apologize and restore my word.  I’ve been doing a lot of apologizing this month and I’m happier for it.  Restoration is the flavor of the month.  Today’s challenge will help in those situations as well.

Today’s challenge: Take on the second of the Four Agreements.  Don’t take anything personally.  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.

This, by far, is the most difficult agreement for me to work on.  Actually, it’s the most difficult challenge for me this month.  I take everything personally.  I’m sure that you/he/they tweeted that, said that, did that knowing that it would hurt my feelings.  Of course it was about me and meant to disparage me.  Right?

What does taking things personally do for me other than create opportunities for suffering?  If I considered that people do what they do without targeting me, what would that look like?

I’d have less anxiety if I wasn’t trying to figure out people’s motives.  I could let them be.  I could let me be.  I’d have more energy for the things I love to do.  Without of the burden of perceived judgment or rejection, I’d be free to dance through life.  I am the source of suffering in my world.  I get to say whether it can stay or go.  I promise to do my best these next few days to actively remind myself that it’s not personal.

Today’s victory: I was able to dig deep into my network across continents to assist someone I love and respect. I am more powerful and influential than I imagine.  I can make a difference in places and ways that I never thought of.  You are too.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the talents and abilities that I’ve been blessed with that I often take for granted or assume everyone else possesses.  I understand that these gifts are mine own.   For that, I am beyond grateful.

On the horizon: When ducks aren’t ducks.