“When you refuse to take anything personally you avoid many upsets in your life. Your feelings of anger, jealousy — and even your sadness — will disappear if you don’t take things personally.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz
Point to Ponder:
Do people ever tell you that you take things too personally or make negative assumptions?
…could they possibly be right?
Take the 3 scenario quiz in the journal and order your copy of The Four Agreements to read over Spring Break.
I don’t know about you, but this whole ‘antidote for exhaustion’ topic has me spinning in all of the right directions. I find myself thinking about it all of the time and thankfully feel zero obligation to say yes to anything I’m not interested in or that will take precious time or energy away from my family and iGnite. I’ve also caught myself red-handed in ‘comparison mode.’ The most recent example was this weekend, at a four year old’s birthday party, really! There were lots of moms with their little boys, and sure enough, I was sizing the moms up. I know! That’s crappy, and I hate to admit it, but I am guilty. However, when I catch myself comparing, I immediately give myself ‘a talking-to’ and analyze why in the world I just can’t be in the moment. I suppose comparing — like the Bermuda Triangle — is one of the great mysteries of life, but I am committed to remaining aware and trying to eliminate the disgusting habit that prevents me from living wholeheartedly. And even though I don’t get on Facebook much, not having it as an option to look at and subconsciously compare through (because I’m doing the 7-day cleanse) has been immensely cleansing and freeing.
Speaking of ‘freeing,’ about twelve years ago, my husband Russell suggested that I read the short and simple book The Four Agreements. He said it impacted his life and he thought it would do the same for mine. So, I read it and not only did it impact my life, but it changed my life and absolutely gave me the freedom that enabled me to live less exhaustedly, and more wholeheartedly.
By taking this short quiz, let’s see if you could benefit from reading The Four Agreements:
Read these 3 scenarios and ask yourself if the reaction described sounds familiar…
- You run into a colleague or acquaintance and he/she doesn’t engage you in conversation and seems disinterested. You’re confused and wondering what you did to make him/her react in such an unfriendly way.
- You were not invited to a lunch/wedding/party that many of your friends/co-workers were invited to. Your feelings are hurt, and you think you must have done something wrong or that something is wrong with you to not be included.
- Someone sent you a short and monotone email (with no smiley faces, exclamation points or xo’s). You think they are upset with you and you ask yourself over and over what you said or did wrong.
To clarify, assumptions are non-truths, yet we believe they are the truth. So, if you answered ‘yes’ to any of the three scenarios then you are guilty of making an assumption and taking it personally, which we all do all of the time.
Before reading The Four Agreements, I was completely unaware of how many assumptions I was making each day and how personally I was taking each assumption. Let’s just say I stayed emotionally exhausted — trying to be liked by everyone and always wondering why he/she didn’t say hello or looked at me in a certain way. Clearly I was letting other people’s “stuff” affect my emotions, when I’m sure what he/she did or didn’t say to me really had nothing to do with me. All in all, it was a complete and total waste of my emotional time and energy, and when I finally stopped making assumptions and taking things personally, a new freedom and world opened up for me!
Even though I’ve read the book, it’s time for a re-read. With Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Spring Break all around the corner, this week I encourage you to join me in fasting from making assumptions and taking things personally. I promise this will create in you more wholehearted spiritual and emotional space, which will allow you to focus on the important endeavors in your life: the things that really matter. I also encourage you to read The Four Agreements over Spring Break. It’s a quick and simple read and can be ordered here on Amazon for less than $8.00. It will be at your doorstep within one to two days of ordering. The Kindle Edition is available too.
There are two more equally life-changing agreements in The Four Agreements that we will discuss next week. Until then, here’s to letting go of unwanted drama and emotional highs and lows!