Don’t Take It Personally
“If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all.” Yogi Bhajan
When you react strongly to an event, it’s because there is some kind of “hook” into your personal material. It’s quite likely that you’ve noticed that when you’re tired, or hungry, or under a lot of stress, you’re more likely to be reactive than when you’re rested, and are in an open frame of mind. You likely have also noticed that different people react to different circumstances. People react because whatever catalyzed the reaction reminds them—often unconsciously—of previous situations that were similar enough to the current event sufficient to activate (or trigger) that response. When you can recognize that your reaction has more to do with you and what you brought to the situation, you are on your way to not taking things personally.
It’s even possible to not take it personally when you are reactive, because we all sometimes react and take things personally. Learning to control our reactive impulses is a life-long process. The concept is easy, but it’s far from easy to keep this much spaciousness in your day to day life. If you do take it on as a compass point, as the quote from Yogi Bhajan suggests, you will find yourself being able to put some distance between your reactions and the way you want to be in the world. This will enable you to be responsive (rather than reactive) and will help you have intimacy in your relationships, and friendships that sustain you. You will also find you have more compassion for yourself and for others. It’s all about relationships; this kind of practice helps keep the focus on what is really important.