Don Miguel Luiz states in the book The  Four Agreements,
“Whatever  happens  around you, don’t take it personally”.
My supervisor  has said this to me on numerous occasions, and I agreed with him, perhaps to appease him or  perhaps not.  Sure, I agreed it isn’t wise to take thing personally, but in reality, I haven’t  been able to do that.  I mean, really, how can we not take things personally?
Don Miguel Luiz gives an example in his book; “If I see you on the street, and I say,  “Hey, you are 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?….You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said.”
He goes on to say that “we get trapped in 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.”
We are socialized , or it is entrenched in us to take things personally.  Thus, we think we are responsible for everything.  Me, Me, it is always me! I’ve been caught up in how everything is affecting me.  It’s all about me.  What people think of me, how I feel, how it affects me, what I can handle and on and on.

I’m able to see that most of my difficulties point back to this agreement.  When I’m so wrapped up in “Me”, I can’t see the resolution.  I get in the way.  I’m not able to see what a family member does or says isn’t about me, that it is about them.  I make it about me and in turn, make myself miserable.

I’m aware that I have been taking things personally but feel jammed, unable to bring myself out of this bottomless pit.  I feel captured, suffocated and puzzeled as to why I continue to function the way I do.  I know in this mind of mine what I “should” do but have been unable to do it.  I have been racing on automatic pilot.

He states in the book, “If someone gives you an opinion and says, “Hey, you look so fat,” don’t take it personally, because the truth is that this 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 you take that poison, and it becomes yours.  We become prey to those who would take advantage of our vulnerabilities.   Their garbage becomes your garbage.

I’ve had a situation with my family where I allowed the opinions of family members to become my truth.  This poisoned me and has traveled throughout my body, affecting my physical, spiritual and emotional life.  This experience and others have led me to understand how I have been violating this agreement.

I believe I’m beginning to comprehend what this agreement means and why it is so significant not to take things personally.  As stated in the book, as soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell.

This brings me  to the Second Step of Alcoholic Anonymous.
“Came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
I praise my creator for the 12 Steps.  With this Step, I am able to be liberated from the trap, from the dream of hell.  I’m able to be restored to sanity.  Insanity is taking things personally.  For me, this has been believing the opinions of others, buying into their beliefs and allowing their negative poison to take over my quintessence.   I feel blessed that I am able to practice this step, along with the 11 other Steps.
I now understand the urgency in getting back to al-anon meetings.  Not taking things personally is similar to detachment in al-anon.  I’ve been reminded by a very wise person to go to al-anon especially when working with addicts and alcoholics.  Furthermore, I live with people in recovery and I am in recovery myself.  When I’m not practicing al-anon principles, I tend to slip into taking things personally and the cycle repeats itself.
How have you been taking things personally?
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