This month at church, Rev. Jean is doing a series on the new book “The Fifth Agreement.” The book and the series include a review of “The Four Agreements,” so that’s what the talks of the last two weeks have been. Last Sunday she discussed agreement two: Don’t Take Anything Personally. I particularly enjoyed the way she presented the idea. She had us all imagine a scene from our life and watch it in our mind like a movie. Then she pointed out that the way we view the scene is only our perspective and if we watched the same movie through someone else’s eyes it would be totally different.
The reality is we are the stars of our own movies, but for everyone else we are merely supporting characters in theirs. As I write blog posts, I often wonder what people are going to think. Thanks to Facebook, I’ve reconnected with a lot of people who knew me at different phases of my life. Everybody has a different version of me in their minds. I question how my version…the real me…measures up to theirs. Are they disappointed, pleased, shocked, or attracted? Sometimes when I am retelling events as I remember them I worry. I worry because A.)I have a terrible memory and B.)what if my memory doesn’t match up with those involved. I’ve read a couple of comments on other blogs where the writers have more or less been accused of lying. The thing is, I don’t believe they were lying at all, but rather recording the memory how it played out in their movie. When I was in 6th grade I was best friends with a girl named, Brandi. I remember so much about our friendship. I remember listening to Bon Jovi, playing with my hamster, jumping on the trampoline, interviewing each other on cassette tape, and climbing out her bedroom window late one night at the end of the summer (don’t worry we didn’t go any further than the driveway). When we got back in touch on Facebook she sent me a message saying that whenever she drives by my old neighborhood she remembers swimming at my house and eating frozen Milky Ways. We had carried with us completely different memories of the same exact friendship.
There are a lot of things that people hide or change about themselves depending on who they are in the company of. We do this because we are afraid of what others will think of us. We are afraid of rejection. A positive thing we can learn to do for our own peace of mind is to not take anything personally. Everyone is the center of their own Universe. Whatever statements they may make to you or about you doesn’t really have anything to do with you. It’s just a role you’re playing in their movie and that role most certainly does not define you. For me, I am learning not to let the criticism or praise from others become a master over me. I have an array of ideas in my head and people of all walks of life could read my blog and find stuff they love and hate about me. If I tried to please them all (which I have spent a lot of energy in my life wanting to), I would not be living my own truth.