Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Crow Has Landed: Learning How to not Take Anything Personally

Recently, my wonderful friend Danielle lent me a revolutionary book by Don Miguel Ruiz called The Four Agreements. This book presents four principles that will help re-route emotionally and spiritual trajectories by creating more love and happiness in lives.

I read the book within a hour.

I was especially smitten with the second agreement:  DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. 
According to Ruiz, "Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions of others and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."

We've all been there.

The bridesmaid who never calls you again for apparently no reason.
The relative who comments about the size of your expanding ass.
The accomplished colleague who refuses to acknowledge your newfound success.
The former confidante who defriends you on Facebook.

Their problem, their bag, baby.

This liberating notion facilitates moving on without all the worry, the hurt, the second-guessing of what you did wrong. Let go and proceed and embrace the joy.

Since reading this book, I have swapped my darker life-view lenses for rose-beige ones. After all--it's their unresolved issue, right?

Yes, I gladly accepted the second agreement.

Until I went to Lord and Taylor.

"M'am, would you like to try a product for mature skin? To eliminate your crow's feet?"

M'am.
Crow's feet.
Mature skin.

Don't take anything personally. A projection of their own insecurities.

She was maybe twenty years old. Maybe. Perfectly lip-glossed with unblemished skin.
Following me with her tube of StriVectin.

What's her insecurity?  What deeply-rooted issue?
I thought about tripping her.  How zen of me.

I smelled the burning of Don Miguel Ruiz's agreements in the background.

It was hard to be immune to this one, especially for someone who likes to pretend that the nineties were a few years ago.

It's hard to discover that the station playing my faves is the oldies.
We're not talking Patti Page and Frankie Valli--but Depeche Mode and The Cure.

I hate having to scroll down forever on a drop-down menu when trying to find the year of my birth.

I still say "You sound like a broken record" and pretend that my sons know what the hell I am talking about.

The crow has landed, yes--and aging is an adjustment--but I swear that I wouldn't trade places with that twenty-something either.

The forties have been such a time for me to re-think, re-invent and re-imagine.  A new chapter to let go of what others think, say and do--and to unleash my own burgeoning spirit--things I wished I had known when I was twenty-five. I would have saved so much time, energy and heartbreak.

I admit I'm still not over "crow's feet."
But at least the Barista at Starbucks made up for it by calling me "Miss" that day.
I left him a hefty tip.

Forgiving those who hurt or offend you--whether it is an offhand remark about wrinkles or a lifelong denigration--is no small undertaking. While it may be difficult to never take anything to heart, I vow to at least keep Don Miguel Ruiz's second agreement tucked close.

Especially at Lord and Taylor.

Adorable "Torta" wedges from Vince Camuto.  Enjoy every step, Kim xo