Tag Archives: don miguel ruiz

When Disappointment comes in Threes… it’s Still not Personal

24 Jan Notes to Self

You’ve probably heard the (stupid) adage that bad news comes in threes.  I know people who are so enmeshed with this belief that when two (bad) things happen just days apart, they expect that the streak won’t end until a third bad thing happens.  But like the good things in life, none of this is personal. (See my other posts about Don Miguel Ruiz‘s book The Four Agreements The second agreement is “Don’t take anything personally.”

When it comes to disappointment, we take a similar stance – when one disappointment happens, more seem to pile up within minutes.  It is only natural to feel a bit down when the first disappointment happens (due to OUR unfulfilled expectations of them), but then things seem to compound with everyone that crosses our path.  Some weeks it seems that everyone I meet behaves differently than I would (unfulfilled golden rule!) and it can really bring me down!

Let me give you an example… when a friend n0-shows or doesn’t come through on plans we’ve made, I feel disappointed, but still resilient.  When a second person does something similar thing around the same time, I again feel disappointed and start to feel disrespected.  When a third (unrelated to the first two) person forgets about a promise they’ve made – it compounds the first two situations and now I start to wonder what my role was in the three-event situation.

The answer is that it’s not personal!  I was simply the common denominator participant in a perfect storm trifecta of events!  The three incidents were unrelated, not about me, and simply the converging of three things happening during the same week TO ME.  While the situation may FEEL personal, the coalescence of the three events has nothing to do with me or my manifestation of life!

A friend called me yesterday expressing this same sentiment – her sister had promised to drive her home from work and then didn’t neglected to show up or call; another friend had forgotten about an appointment they had made; and a co-worker reamed her out over something minor.  All unrelated events, but my friend was feeling disregarded and wondered what she had done to deserve such treatment.  The answer is nothing – people behave the way they will and even when disappointment comes in threes (or more) it’s still NOT personal.

disappointment

p.s., We tend to remember the negative things that hit our day more than the positive ones.  For me, I’ve found that it is easier to digest disappointment when I take notice of the good things that happen throughout the day. For example, when someone follows through on what they promise, when people share a compliment, when someone smiles for no reason.  As Don Miguel Ruiz states, these things too (like the negatives) are not personal.  When we notice the good things that happen all the time, they balance out the negatives — we simply fail to take notice.

Have a great day!

Carol

Baggage Fees for People…

13 Mar

Whatever life takes away from you, let it go.  When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. – don Miguel Ruiz

This is true whether life has taken from you your life savings, relationships (toxic or not), possessions, emotions, or people.

In our capitalist society, we grow up with the illusion that whoever amasses the most things – wins!  In addition to material things, we hold emotions and experiences, and keep them forever (even when it is not good for us!)  Sometimes I think we are like the TV showHoarders” with the amount of intellectual and emotional baggage we drag behind us.  (If you do not think you are “packing” baggage, think about how often you serenade friends with the same litany of a past hurt…)

The analogy of baggage fees for emotional baggage hit me the other day at the airport as a fashionista was unloading her luggage on to a baggage cart for an upcoming flight. She was aghast when the agent assessed her with hundreds of dollars in “extra” baggage fees, and I realized that this same situation could work well with the invisible baggage we all insist on bringing with us.

Think about it for a minute – why do we need to bring a “steamer trunk” full of childhood pain along to a family picnic?  The answer is that we DON”T!

Imagine if we could visualize the baggage that we and everyone else bring along when we go out?  Picture this hilarious scenario:  People at a picnic surrounded by masses of steamer trunks (full of crap), garment bags (with clothes that no longer fit) , sports equipment (long worn out), golf bags (with mismatched clubs), garbage bags (filled with discarded papers), and suitcases so old they need duct tape to stay together.

It would be the most bizarre scene from “Hoarders” (people who discard nothing!)

Baggage fees for people?

If we were forced to pay fees (which we do unconsciously) for each unnecessary piece of baggage we brought the world economy would restart in a minute!  The world would change for the better in two ways:

  1. People would carefully pack only the luggage they need to take on a journey and discard the rest (we would all be more emotionally healthy!);
  2. Those who wish to remain emotional “hoarders” would contribute financially for the privilege!

The emotional baggage we carry is invisible, yet we drag, push, and pull way too much of it along like some sort of badge of honor.  If it were real, some of it would smell bad, be oozing out of its containers, and some of it would be so dangerous as to alert the “HAZMAT” team (hazardous materials).

We do not realize that life could be so much easier (with great fitness benefits to our emotional health) by discarding, recycling, reframing, and forgiving the things we lost in the past and that life took from us. Things we thought we need to keep might actually be costing us unconsciously by holding on to them.  Clear out your storage locker and your mind of this clutter and make room for new emotions and wonderful experiences today. (Related post: New Math – Subtraction can add Years to your life!)

We need to take inventory and streamline our journey forward by discarding the worn out and out-of-date from our lives!

Starting today, I am going to work to discard the waste, and watch what bags I pack to go out tonight.

If it is more than I can fit into a small purse – it is tooooooo much!  If I go out and drag along a few extra steamer trunks (out of habit), I will ask my friends to collect baggage fees at the table.  What do you think?

Have a great (baggage free) week!

Carol

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