The Four Agreements; Post 2

Yesterday’s post featured one of four agreements featured in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book entitled “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.” Today’s post features the second agreement:

  • Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

I can’t begin to tell you how many times in therapy I have explored with a client the question, “How much is this situation really about you?” It is our natural tendency to internalize our experiences; we often need to mull them around in order to figure out what effect they are going to have on us and what possible direction we will take as a result. Ruiz reminds us that we are responsible for our choices and our actions – as is everyone else. People move by their own accord; they make choices based on their own patterns, dynamics, learned behaviours, defenses.

In order to truly allow someone else’s experience integrate into our own story in such a way as to promote understanding and healing, it first comes with the knowledge that we can separate ourselves from the opinions and actions of others. When we work towards not taking things personally, we remove the roadblock of our own self-doubt, our own hurt feelings and instead come to the conclusion more quickly that the only person we can really change or control is ourselves.

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