This is one of the gifts of the book, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz that just keeps on giving. I don’t practice it perfectly, as sometimes it takes a few days to kick in depending on how fragile I’m feeling at the moment. This week I was able to practice immediately.
In the last week I’ve had 5 video calls scheduled. One has actually happened and one unscheduled one happened. Three were forgotten by the other party, one was cancelled due to illness. The one that happened is a monthly thing and I originally kept it going after the original purpose of it being monthly was moot. It lasts an hour except this week where it lasted 3 hours. I know! But all 3 felt necessary to both of us. The unscheduled one was suggested during texting with a dear friend and it was a great (not my) idea plus now I’ve used Face Time for the first time!
Now, years-ago-me would have taken the forgotten ones really hard – what is wwwrrroooooooonnnnnngggg with me! Why am I forgotten??? Fear of abandonment triggers, while absolutely grounded in a reality of the past, would have leapt up, grabbed me by the throat, and had me in an angst filled funk in this present if I hadn’t learned not to take things personally. New/current me thought, “Huh. That’s interesting,” and then said, “Yeeeesssss! Free time!” Current me forgot to even tell myself to not take it personally because that is how thoroughly I’ve learned it.
I’ve learned it so well that I forgot to be careful with my other friend who suddenly has all of her time taken with other things and people and our chatting has dropped off to near nothing. I whined, in text, about missing her, and forgot to make it clear (text! it needs so much more effort than face-to-face!) I was merely whining and not whining-how-dare-you! Yes, I am not responsible for others’ feelings, but I work hard not to be the ass who is easily misinterpreted. That is where my direct-and-frank habit comes from, the desire to be clearly understood. (Hint: if you are speaking with someone who takes things personally it doesn’t matter if you are direct-and-frank or the opposite, they’ll take it personally.) My friend didn’t take it personally, but I had to ask to know this, because, text.
Anyhoozle, I find it deeply fascinating that the video calls I initiated scheduling, both sides showed up for, and the ones I did not initiate scheduling didn’t happen. There are varied reasons for that and none of them has anything to do with me. When you learn not to take things personally you know in your bones that how other people behave is all about them, and not a thing about you.
The gift that keeps on giving – huzzah! (And unexpected bonus me time!)