You can’t shine when you’re covered in other people’s garbage.
The other day, my client said I should write that one down because it was quotable. So here I am now, quoting myself. Ta-dah!
Most of us take things too personally. We make things that are not about us, about us. And it’s the friggin’ worst. I’ve done it. You’ve done it.
Maybe you consider yourself a sensitive. A HSP, even. And maybe you hate that about yourself. See it as a weakness. Maybe you’ve been shamed for being too sensitive.
Well maybe you are sensitive (yay!) and maybe you’ve had a habit of taking on other people’s stuff. Stuff that isn’t yours. And maybe you’ve been surrounded by people who were A-OK with projecting their own stuff onto you! More on this projection below…but first, Don Miguel!
If you’ve read Don Miguel Ruiz’s famous little guidebook-to-life called The Four Agreements, then you know the 2nd Agreement is “Don’t take anything personally.”
I read that book when I was like 14, but tbh, I don’t even remember that part! I probably wasn’t ready to hear it. Lessons come when they’re ready to be learned and not before.
Someone gave the book to my husband recently (not me, surprise) and he talked for days and days and days about this Agreement. So I reread it too and here’s a beautiful passage:
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up….
But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Immunity in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement.”
Immunity in the middle of hell! Whew. Yes. Stop eating in hell! Go somewhere else to eat. Ok, that might not be what he’s saying exactly, but you get it.
And look, not everyone is a “predator” or a “black magician.” Sometimes people are just having their garbage and projecting it on you because they have undealt with shadow, and because you have undealt with shadow, you take this on.
This is how you get covered in other people’s garbage. This is how your shine gets dulled.
You don’t have to do it anymore. Yeah, just like that.
YES, OF COURSE, it will take practice, and you’ll have to work with your shadow (meaning, doing some inner work), but it’s totally possible to be free of the chains of taking everything personally and drowning in the shame, self-loathing, doubt, etc.
Here’s a tool I’ve been using for years and first learned from the healer/ teacher RevZoe, and recently revisited with the sound healer and channel Tom Kenyon.
This is your weekend homework. You’re welcome.
The Ritual of Return (aka Differentiation)
- The first time you do this, get quiet and still. Make sure you’re in a place you feel safe and sound. Light a candle if you can.
- Pull up the image of the person you want to differentiate from in your mind’s eye.
- Say, aloud, “I GIVE YOU BACK WHAT IS YOURS, I TAKE BACK WHAT IS MINE.”
- Say this as many times as you need to, even if that’s 5x or 100x.
- I use a hand movement of pushing my hands out when I’m giving back and pulling into myself when I’m taking back.
- When you are “giving back” it means all their stuff, their karma, their projections, their insecurities, their own damage.
- When you are “taking back” it means you are reclaiming your innocence, your purity, your power, your soul pieces that may have been siphoned away.
- If it feels too much to just give back to them directly, you can imagine a vessel of some sort in front of them and deposit it all in there.
Try this out and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear!