I love the Toltec concept of the Four Agreements as described in the bestselling book by Miguel Ruiz. One of the agreements focuses on the idea of not taking things personally. But is it entirely true that nothing others do is because of you? Taken out of context, and without the courage born out of a personal, daily spiritual practice, this concept can cause one to develop the sociopathic values of not caring about anyone other than yourself. There is a difference between being unmoved and developing Spiritual Detachment.
I have often been recruited by Spirit to participate in someone else’s lesson. But I am at times amazed how people use this excuse to justify their actions, claiming that they were simply being used by Spirit in the situation and that it is not about them at all. They believe the whole thing simply happened as a lesson for the other person. Really?
You don’t need to change the world; you need to change yourself ~ Miguel Ruiz
I have stepped out of many lessons myself, where I felt Spirit was going to “use” me to deliver a “lesson” to another person. When I stepped out, I always saw that Spirit happily replaced me with another player and the other person was still taught what they needed to learn.
If you stay and participate, then you were also there to learn something yourself! Too many people excuse their own lacking and their own areas in need of development by loftily and lazily declaring: “I am not taking it personally, it is the other person’s issue and it has nothing to do with me.” At the extreme end, this is the precursor to full blown sociopathic behavior.
We are not responsible for anything that happens with another person? We should not take it personally, it is all their issue? Yikes! So when do we take it personally? Only when it is convenient? Or when it can make us look good, or prove us right? This attitude enhanced by the commercialization of superficial New Age spirituality fits right into the millennium culture of entitlement and no responsibility. Well, it does so in my world anyways.
If you were there, if you were involved, you are partially responsible and there is something there for you to learn too – not just to analyze the other person’s actions and excuse yourself as if you are an Archangel sent by Spirit to help another soul see something. Sometimes the latter is actually true, but you better be damn sure you were given a very clear message about that, as Master Ego is quite clever at feeding us stories we like to hear.
We are inevitably our brother’s keeper because we are our brother’s brother. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let’s say a woman’s spouse physically abuses her. She is there. Her spouse would have beaten anyone he married, and that is the part she dare not take personally. However she married him, not someone else. So in my mind, the focus should be on her participation. True, the abusive actions would have happened anyways to someone else, yet she chooses (even if not consciously, perhaps karmically to be the victim. There is her work. She need not take it personally, but she needs to ask why on earth this happened to her specifically? There is a Gift waiting for her in the answer: personal and Spiritual growth. But only if she has the courage to face her own participation. Not with blame or shame, but with curiosity and courage.
Yes, I do not take it personally, however, I was there so what did I learn about me. It is not about analyzing the other person, which is always an easy way out.
For a less dramatic example, let’s say your best friend gets in a bind. You do nothing. After all, you do not take anything personally, right? Your friend feels betrayed and abandoned. Not your problem, you say. You don’t take it personally, so not your issue. Again, really? What a lazy, if not downright unethical approach to personal and Spiritual growth!
Your friend who feels betrayed, while not taking it personally, can look at the Spiritual lesson delivered. Why does she feel betrayed? What assumptions did she make about you instead of reading the fine print? How does she choose friends? Does your radar as friend need adjustment?
Today I will commit myself to detachment. I will allow myself and those around me the freedom to be as they are. I will not rigidly impose my idea of how things should be… I will participate in everything with detached involvement ~ Deepak Chopra
You, on the other hand, while not taking it personally also has some great questions to look at. Did you make false promises as a friend to build up your self-image or ego? Did you present myself as stronger or a more loyal friend than you are capable of being? How can you be a better friend in the future? Perhaps you need to redefine what friendship really means to you? And wouldn’t it be amazing to talk this all out instead of mouse-holing it into: “Not my problem, I don’t take it personally, has nothing to do with me?”
Sadly, New Age culture and popular Psychology has created euphemisms for cowardly, politically-correct behaviors that stunt our growth – both psychologically and Spiritually. For me, it makes for a rather lonely world, interacting with people whose primary path is to protect their ego rather than risk engagement.
However, when I do meet one of those rare jewels, a true Traveler, we dance together in a world of depth and intricacies, with layers of meaning, both personal and impersonal, earth and Spirit. We help each other evolve, grow and blossom by living through and sharing the friction that only comes through the commitment found in deep love and friendship. And like geodes in a rock tumbler, we rub the sharp points off of each other and bring out the shining jewel hidden in each of us. We shine together. And the Shine is beyond any mundane human encounter.
| PsychicAccess.com.Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client’s soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul’s sparkle, contact Nonna at |
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