A recent book I read made me ponder about how we perceive things, situations. How we can be totally wrong in doing so. And how this, sadly, causes rifts between people all because we could not address the issue but took it too personally…

Why is it that we rather walk away than talk? Why is it we form immediate opinions where we tell others to wait and think before judging? Are we hypocrites in doing so? My own recent behaviour made me think and this morning, a light bulb (finally!) burst in my head: we can act like rational human beings but look into your own heart and you find a person who doubts and who is insecure. Our outside appearance is one thing – how we perceive things and feel on the inside are sometimes totally opposite to the image we show the world.

Is it self-preservation? Is it fear? Whatever it is, it prevents us from seeing things as they are and, more damaging, because of that we tend to take it personally. I have done so many times. My current job-hunt has resulted in a promising start but also in a rejection. I was sad about it but was not upset – I did not feel the rejection was personal but instead, understood what they were saying. This morning it dawned on me why can’t I take everything that is said that way? I felt hurt because of something else and, on reflection, there was no need at all!

Like I said, late as ever but now I understand: it is because our hearts are involved in friendships, in love, in connecting to people whose company we enjoy. We feel it more personal because we want them to like us and therefore, any suggestion or comment is received with a feeling of doubt and insecurity. But especially those friends who tell us how it is are the ones we should cherish. Not the ones who never tell you what is wrong or why they think otherwise! The ones that dare to criticise and dare to engage in a conversation that might not be easy, are the ones that really have YOU at heart.

How many arguments could be prevented if we stood back and perceived the situation without feeling attacked personally? Think about it! If something happens, why not let it cool off and regard it anew, from a distance? You might just realise that it was not worth feeling hurt over as it was so minor and unintentional. Not taking things personally can truly liberate you and make you feel better, more confident and self-assured. Accept who you are and accept you make mistakes. In the same way, accept your loved ones for who they are – they can make mistakes but these are not deliberate and not personal affronts – not directed towards you. You will feel stronger and more positive. Also, it puts things into perspective and makes you realise what is important: friendship, love, happiness.

Don’t’ feel bad if you have made a mistake – try and amend and move on. Did your loved one make one? Think whether it was intended and aimed at you. In most circumstances, it is not – your loved one had perhaps a bad day or experienced something that took them off-balance for a while. It is just a minor aspect of life and not something to hang on to in negativity. Let go, breathe and look at the bigger picture. It will liberate you and make you an overall more happy person, content with who you are.

Be happy and feel good about yourself!

Caroline 

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