We normally assume that everything people say and do to us is about us. Thus we are conditioned to take what people throw at us personally. The truth is that everything people do is about them, and not us. For example, somebody may call us ‘a stupid idiot.’ Now if we take it personally, our ego gets hurt. We feel offended. Then we try to get back at the person who made us feel bad. We might decide to give them back a dose of what they gave us, and the conflict escalates. Or we might give them proof that they are wrong by attacking their beliefs and opinions with our own. Either way, nothing fruitful comes out of this and we end up feeling miserable. We waste our time, energy and mind-power because we decided to take what someone said personally.
Each of us is living in our own mind. Each person’s life is a completely personal dream. Each person’s dream is based on their conditioning – their past karma. When we take something personally, we assume that others know what is in our dream world, which is far from the truth. Even when the situation seems to be aimed directly at us, (like when someone insults us) people are simply acting out of their own feelings, opinions and beliefs, and it has nothing to do with us.
A good illustration of this can be observed from the responses to postings on my facebook page. Even though the posting is exactly the same, different people feel differently about it. Some people may agree and give praise. Some may partly agree. And some may completely disagree and criticize the posting. If I decide to take every response personally, then I would end up totally confused each time, as there will always be contradictions between one persons response and some other person’s response to the same post.
Also, the nature of the mind is that of duality. It is so common for couples to say “I love you” and “I hate you” to each other, depending on their dominant emotion. Which of this is true? When someone is in a good mood, they might say “What a wonderful person you are”. After a few days, when they are in a bad mood, the same person might say “You are such a dickhead”. What can we take personally?
If someone says we are fat, we do not take it personally
If someone says we are ugly, we do not take it personally
If someone says we are brilliant, we do not take it personally
If someone says we are stupid, we do not take it personally
If someone says we are very wonderful, we do not take it personally
Even if someone wants to kill us, we do not take it personally!
It is totally up to us whether we choose to take someone’s emotional poison and make it ours. If we know that nothing other people say or do is about us, then we are completely set free. When we don’t take things personally, the need for us to get approval from outside is completely gone. We then find that our anger, jealousy, envy and sadness are gone. We will find ourselves to be more centred, more at peace with ourselves, no matter what anyone throws at us. Life is all about Choices!
Always remember: The key is to look at your thoughts for what they really are… just thoughts. No need to act on them, fight with them or try to avoid them. Take notice and let them go, like cars passing your house!
Love & Laughter – John