by don Miguel Ruiz
Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally.
If I see you on the street, and I say, "Hey, you are so stupid," without knowing you, it's not about you; it's about me. If you take it personally then perhaps you believe you are stupid. Maybe you think to yourself, "How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am?"
You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell. What causes you to be trapped, is what we call personal importance. Personal importance or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about 'me'.
During the period of our education, or our domestication, we learn to take everything personally. WE think we are responsible for everything. Me, me, me, always me!
Nothing others people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally we make the assumption, that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world onto their world.
Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication.
When someone gives you the opinion "Hey you're fat", don't take it personally because the truth is that the person is dealing with his or her own feelings, beliefs and opinions. That person tried to send poison to you, and if you take it personally, then that poison becomes yours.
Taking things personally makes you an easy prey for predators. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up. You eat all their emotional garbage, and now it becomes your garbage. But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Immunity to the poison in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement.
When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reactions is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everyone else wrong. You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions. In the same way, whatever you feel, and do is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your own agreements. What you say what you do and the opinions of you have are according to the agreements you have made - and these opinions have nothing to do with me.
It is not important to me what you think about me, and I don't take what you think personally, I don't take it personally when people say "Miguel you're the best", I don't take it personally when people say "Miguel, you're the worst". I know that when you are happy you will tell me "Miguel you are an angel!", but when you are mad at me you will say "oh Miguel you are such a devil! You are so disgusting how can you say those things?" Either way it does not affect me because I know what I am. I don't have this need to have someone tell me. "Miguel you are doing so good", or "How dare you do that?"
No I don't take it personally, whatever you think whatever you feel I know is your problem and not my problem. It is the way you see the world. It is nothing personal because you are dealing with yourself, not me. Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them.
You may even tell me "Miguel, what you are saying is hurting me." but it is not what I am saying that is hurting you, it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You have hurt yourself. There is no way I can take this personally. Not because I don't believe in you, or don't trust you, but because I know you see the world with different eyes, with your eyes. You create an entire picture of movie in your mind, and in that picture you are the director, you are the producer and you are the main actor or actress. Everyone else is a secondary act or actress. IT is your movie.
The way you see that movie is according to the agreements you have made with life. Your point of view is something personal to you. It is no one's truth but yours. Then if you get mad at me I know you are dealing with yourself. I am the excuse for you to get made. And you get mad because you are afraid because you are dealing with fear. If you are not afraid there is no way you will get mad at me. If you are not afraid there is no way you can get jealous or sad.
If you live without fear, if you love, there is no place for any of those emotions. If you don't feel any of those emotions, it is logical that you will feel good. When you feel good, then everything around you is good. When everything around you is great everything makes you happy. You are loving everything that is around you because you are loving yourself.
Because you like the way you are. Because you are content with you. Because you are happy with your life. You are happy with the movie you are producing happy with your agreements with life. You are at peace and you are happy. You live in a state of bliss where everything is so beautiful. In that state of bliss you are making love all the time with everything you perceive.
Whatever people do, feel, thinks or say don't take it personally. If they tell you how wonderful you are they are not saying that because of you. You know you are wonderful. It is not necessary to believe other people who tell you that you are wonderful.
Don't take anything personally. Even if someone got a gun and shot it to our head, it was nothing personal, even at that extreme. Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore you don't need to take anything in your own mind personally. The mind has an ability to talk to itself. But it also has the ability to hear information that is available from other realms. Sometimes you hear a voice in your mind and you may wonder where it came from. This voice may have come from another reality in which there are living beings very similar to the human mind. The Toltecs called these beings allies. In Europe, Africa and India they called them the Gods.
Our mind exists in the level of the gods. Our mind also lives in that reality and perceive that reality. The mind sees with the eyes and perceives this waking reality. But the mind also sees and perceives without eyes, although the reason is hardly aware of this perception. The mind lives in more then one dimension. There may be times when you have ideas that don't originate in your mind, but you are perceiving them with your mind.
You have the right to believe or not to believe these voices, and the right to not take what they say personally. We have a choice whether or not to believe the voices we hear in our own minds, just as we have the choice of what to believe and agree with in the dreams of th planet. The mind can also talk and listen to itself. The mind is divided as your body is divided. Just like you can say I have one hand and I can shake my other hand and feel the other.
The mind can talk to itself. Part of the mind is speaking and the other part is listening. IT is a big problem when a thousand parts of your mind are all speaking at the same time. This is called "mitote". The "mitote" can be compared as a huge marketplace where thousands of people are talking and bartering at the same time. Each one has different thoughts and feelings. Each one has a different point of view.
The programming in the mind - all of those agreements we have made - are not necessarily compatible with each other. Every agreement is like a separate human being. It has its own personality and it's own voice. There are conflicting agreements that go against other agreements and on and on until it becomes a big war in the mind. The "mitote" is the reason why most human beings don't know what they want, how they want it, or when they want it. They don't agree with themselves because there are parts of the mind that want one thing, and other parts that want the exact opposite. All these living beings each create inner conflict because they are alive and they each have a voice. Only by making an inventory of agreements will we uncover all of the conflicts in the mind, and eventually make order out of chaos of the "mitote".
Don't take anything personally because by taking things personally, you set your self up to suffer for nothing. Humans are addicted to suffering at different levels and to different degrees and we support each other in maintaining these addictions. Humans agree to help each other to suffer. If you have the need to be abused you will find it easy to be abused by others. Likewise if you are with people who need to suffer, something in you makes you abuse them. It is as if they have a note on their back that says please kick me. They are asking for justification for their suffering. Their addiction to suffering is nothing but an agreement that is reinforced everyday.
Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe and not to believe what someone says to you. When we really see other people as they are without taking anything personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or what they do.
Even if others lie to you, it is okay, they are lying to you because they are afraid. They are afraid that you will discover that they are not perfect. IT is painful to take that social mask off. If others say one thing but do another, you are lying to yourself if you don't listen to their actions. But if you are truthful with yourself, you will save yourself from a lot of emotional pain. Telling yourself the truth about it may hurt, but you don't need to be attached to the pain. Healing is on the way, and it's just a matter of time before things will be better for you.
If someone is not treating you with love and respect it is a gift if they walk a way from you. If that person doesn't walk away you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while but your heart will eventually heal. You will find that you don't need to trust others to make the right choices. When you make it a strong habit not to take anything personally you avoid many upsets in your life. Your anger jealousy and envy will disappear and even your sadness will simply disappear if you don't take anything personally.
If you make this a habit you will find that nothing can put you back into hell. There is a huge amount of freedom that that comes to you when you take nothing personally. You become immune to the black magicians and no spell can affect you regardless of how strong it may be. The whole world can gossip about you, and if you don't take it personally, you will not eat it. When you don't take the emotional poison, it becomes even worse in the sender, but not in you.
You can see how important this agreement is. Taking nothing personally can help you break many habits and routines that trap you in the dream of hell and cause needless suffering. Just by practicing this second agreement you begin to break dozens of teen tiny agreements that cause you to suffer. And if you practice the first two agreement s, you will break 75% of the teeny tiny agreements that keep you trapped in hell. Write this agreement on paper and put it on your refrigerator to remind you all the time "Don't take anything personally!"
As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won't need to put your trust in what others say or do. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others you are only responsible for you. When you truly understand this and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.
If you keep this agreement you can travel around the world with your heart completely open and no one can hurt you. You can say I love you without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need. You can say yes or you can say no - whatever you choose - without guilt or self-judgement. You can choose to follow your heart, always. Then you can be in the middle of hell and still experience inner peace and happiness. You can stay in your state of bliss, and hell will not affect you at all.