Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thought for the Day: All About Me?

Oh, the irony.  Writing about self-importance on a blog – the ideal "all about me" forum.  I see that. Actually, I get a little chuckle out of it. 

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the great book The Four Agreements (his website is here), advises not to take anything personally (the second agreement).  Why?  First off, he says, "personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about 'me.'"  Fair enough.  He goes on: "Nothing other 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 on their world."  

So we're all in our little dream worlds, writing blogs, tweeting, etc. (and I write with tongue planted firmly in cheek here), and taking everything personally.  The reason why we take things personally? Fear.  That we're not good enough, that we're flawed, that we're not worthy, that (insert your own neurosis here).  And when we take things personally, we fortify that fear, and we get stuck in the whole cycle of I-feel-lousy-and-I'll-let-you-make-me-feel-worse-because-I'm-not-good-enough.  Or maybe it's just me.  (Awkward...)

But we can set ourselves free.  As Ruiz writes, don't take anything personally, not even the nasty stuff you tell yourself.  Make it a habit.  "There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally," he says, and I can believe that.  I'll work on it.  Habits take time to create and to break.  Perhaps as a test for me -- since, let's face it, it is all about me -- you should write me some nasty comments, and I'll work on not taking it personally.  Ha.  Actually, no thank you; not sure I'm quite ready for that yet.  Baby steps, my friends.  

But if you've got the steel to hear the truth, or are one of those masochists who loves "constructive criticism," check out the website failin.gs (or read about it in this article on the Huffington Post) where friends and family can tell you what they're really thinking in an anonymous forum.  Or go hide inside a  huge bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough instead.  That's where I'll be.  Feel free to join me; invitation's open. 

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