It’s Nothing Personal
Yes, we are at the centre of our awareness. Yes, this puts us at the centre of our universe. But no, that doesn’t mean everything is about us. So why do we take everything so personally?
We allow ourselves to be so fragile and delicate that everything harms us. We get hurt when our favourite band breaks up. We become sad when we break our favourite mug. We act offended when someone swears on TV. But more than this, we assume the actions of other people are all about us.
We become resentful and jealous when other people experience a modicum of success, as if they’ve done it just to spite us. We become angry when people don’t RSVP straight away, as if they don’t have more important, more pressing and more stressful things going on in their lives that prevent them from responding about coming to our barbecue or not.
We take it personally when we don’t get the attention that we think we deserve. We get angry and bitter when things don’t work in our favour, when trains are delayed or we’ve left it too late to buy concert tickets and it’s sold out. We become emotionally unstable when the thing that we have entirely no control over doesn’t go in our favour.
But in all of these cases, we have forgotten that none of this is about us.
Even when we’re on the receiving end of criticism, of anger and conflict, it generally says more about the other person than it says about us. And if we first seek to understand before we respond, we can invite into our lives the grace to see that everything is, actually, ok.
For us at least.
When we pause to wonder why that person didn’t wish to come to our party, it may just be that they’re busy, or that they just don’t like parties. It’s nothing personal. When we wonder why someone didn’t respond to our text message straight away, we may find that they are in the habit of leaving their phone on silent while they’re in another room. It’s nothing personal. When we find ourselves resentful that someone else has found abundance or love or happiness in their life, we may find that they haven’t done it to spite us, but instead our feelings are a reflection of our own yearning for similar material blessings. It’s really nothing personal.
When we look outside ourselves for the cause our dissatisfaction, we can always find a culprit. Someone or something that we can blame for those feelings of insecurity and anxiety that we feel within ourselves. But if we only seek reassurance, and happiness and satisfaction from within, they we are free to let it go.
In release there is confidence. In release there is satisfaction. In release there is the feeling of the sun on our faces and the freedom to dance to the sound of the wind in the trees. When we release ourselves from the shackles of dissatisfaction and allow ourselves to be carried along by the textures, the flavours and the colours of this moment, we can be as bees, floating from blossom to blossom as if tripping through sheet music.
When we release ourselves from the tension of blame, of care, of pride and of being right, we can fly with the falling leaves of Autumn, and let the darkness go as if releasing a dove from our hands. We can finally breathe the air, and feel the crisp water of the thawing winter snow cleanse us, so that we may face the beauty of the world with open eyes.
The actions of those around us are not about us. They are about them. The successes and failures that happen around us are not about us. They are about them. All that is about us are the things we do thing, the way we act, and the song that lights our fire as we dance through life.
That’s our music. That’s about us.