Saturday, October 17, 2015

Don't take things personally

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is not to take things personally. It is amazing how much peace and joy I am able to feel when I am not easily offended or think what someone else chooses is a reflection of me.

This doesn't mean that I don't take responsibility for anything I have done that makes someone respond to me inappropriately, it just means I don't need to be undone by it and especially to react in bitter revenge. It means I quietly take a hard look at myself and repent of what I need to be sorry for but know that the other person's behavior is their issue not mine.

For example, if someone gets mad at me while driving and does a choice hand gesture, I am willing to realize that maybe I wasn't as courteous of a driver as I should have been, but I also acknowledge that their reaction was inappropriate and I don't have to believe I am deserving of that kind of unkind reaction and it is their personal issue and not mine. By not taking it personally, I don't give their behavior undo attention and thus I don't have to let it upset me.

That is just a simple example. There are more personally devastating events that can so easily escalate hard feelings and bitterness if I take someone's destructive behavior personally. Choosing to let go of taking things personally means I also let go of thoughts of personal inadequacy which can lead to retaliation. I get in a place where I am not wounded but instead I am able to be humble, submissive, and understanding of whatever is causing someone to act out.

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