Don't Take it Personally

Recently I had a friend unexpectedly stop returning my phone calls. That friend also de-friended me on Facebook. What's interesting is that I have no idea why. Any attempts to call and discuss whether there's a problem were met with silence.

I felt sad and confused. I was left to ponder what I had done wrong. After thinking for awhile, I could not come up with anything that would cause someone to stop speaking to me. I'm just not one to mistreat a friend. If I do something wrong, I apologize. Yet, I cannot make amends if I do not know what I did wrong.

Fortunately, I was encouraged by another friend to stop taking it personally and to allow myself to feel compassion for this uncommunicative friend.

A fundamental spiritual concept was made popular through the writings of Don Miguel Ruiz in his wonderful book The Four Agreements. In it, he discusses how much of the pain and suffering we endure is a result of taking things personally. The truth is that when people do things, like leaving a friendship behind, it has little to do with us and more to do with that individual's projection of their own reality and what they are creating in life.

I may never know what my friend is going through that would cause this lack of communication. I may never have the opportunity to apologize (assuming that I did unknowingly do something wrong). What I can do is continue to send love and light to this friend. What I can do is be open to the lesson and the spiritual growth that will result from this experience. What I can do is learn to communicate my own upsets in a way that leaves friendships that I care about intact and healthy.

Don't take anything personally.


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