The second agreement in the book The Four Agreements states that you should not take anything personally. Author, Don Miguel Ruiz explains that everything that others say and do – the good, the bad, and the ugly – are all reflections of the agreements they’ve made with themselves and their world. If you take things personally, he says it is the ultimate expression of selfishness: it’s not all about YOU.
Initially, this sounds a little off the wall. How can you not take it personally when someone tells you how great your are?! You know how great you are though, and don’t need to hear it from others! You may not know where that expression of greatness is coming from, or how honest it is, and quite honestly, it doesn’t matter! If someone hurts you with their words, Ruiz says that it’s not the words that hurt you, it’s the open wounds that you already have that are stung by others’ words – hence, others are not hurting you, rather, you are hurting yourself (by holding on to the negative and fear-based agreements, which keep these wounds open and exposed).
Ruiz says that taking things personally makes you easy prey for people to infect you with their emotional poison. However, learning to master this agreement, to not take things personally, gives you immunity to the poison that others are spreading. Emotional poison comes in the form of compliments, cut-downs, opinions, gossip, lies, praise, and anything else that is purely based on the other person’s truths and personal agreements with his/her own world.
By incorporating this agreement, you will eliminate space in your Life for fear, anger, hate, suffering, and jealousy. This agreement comes with a huge amount of freedom, as it will instantly allow you to break down dozens of ill-based agreements. Mastering the first two agreements (Be Impeccable With Your Word and Don’t Take Things Personally) will allow you to break 75% of your negative and fear-based agreements!
If you can keep this agreement, you can become vulnerable to those who you love, and who love you, without fear of ridicule and rejection; you can ask for what you need; you can say yes or no – whatever you choose – without guilt or self-judgement; you can follow your heart; and then you can be in the middle of a world of hell and still experience Inner Peace and happiness.
What a wonderful world we would live in if everyone could accept these agreements!