From the personal to the powerful

Of all of these opportunities, one of the most important is often referred to as not taking things personally.

by John English — 

There are several points along the spiritual journey of life that present magnificent opportunities for greater levels of growth and peace. Of all of these opportunities, one of the most important is often referred to as not taking things personally. Sooner or later, we realize that if we don’t take things out of the personal, our battles, aggravation, frustration with others will never end. This is a large part of the disease of the mind that we must transcend to experience consistent peace.

What is meant by the phrase “taking things personally?”

This means we see the actions and words of others as personal attacks upon ourselves. This also applies to situations in life that are beyond our control. It is actually humorous because the process that makes us so miserable is really back-door narcissism. It is the ego taking the back door in to make the situation we are resisting all about us.

Let’s look at a simple example. You are having a good day and have decided to do some shopping. While you are waiting to pull into a parking spot, someone comes from the other direction and takes it. They could clearly see you were waiting for the spot, yet they took it anyway. You think, “How rude!” and begin to fume — but then you decide to let it go and relax.

Once you are in the store, one shopper after another gets in your way, and they all seem oblivious to your presence. At first you are patient as you wait for the other shoppers to move their carts out of the way so you can pass, but soon you become aggravated, and your mood changes completely. The icing on the cake comes when the clerk who checks you out practically throws your food at the bagger. You snap at the clerk, and the process is complete; you have moved from being in a good mood to being angry. You have moved from a place of peace and power to one of stress and anxiety.

Most of us have had days that turned around like this. In the previous scenario, you moved out of your power and into the pit by taking everything that happened on your shopping trip personally. When the other driver took the parking spot you were waiting for, it had nothing to do with you. The action was about that person being selfish. As soon as you became offended, your ego made it about you and not about them. When the other shoppers were blocking the aisles in the store, this was about their being unconscious of others — not about you being inconvenienced. The clerk throwing your groceries was, again, not about you — it was about the clerk’s lack of courtesy.

A window of time always exists between action and reaction. It is an elusive window, but it is there nonetheless. When we take things personally, our egos are in control and this window seems to evaporate. When we allow the ego to control our actions, they become reactions and, as a result, we have a very limited amount of power.

We can never obtain enough respect, admiration and security for our egos. Make a commitment not to take things personally, no matter what happens, and that window of time will open up and you will then be able to step into the unlimited peace and power of your spirit.


John English is a shamanic healer and award-winning author of The Shift: An Awakening. He conducts private sessions and workshops about destiny and the dreamtime, shamanic healing, journeying and the medicine wheel. or 480-473-8957.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 4, August/September 2006.

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