Don’t take anything personally. 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 and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

This one is tough. Just having come through the holidays, I suppose there are many of us rehearsing something that was said or done and wondering what it meant. Was he saying he doesn’t approve? Was she saying she didn’t appreciate my effort? I wonder why they are always late? Did we do something?

The truth is nothing others do is because of you. It is them living out their own brokenness in a way that makes sense to them. It sounds harsh, I know. But it’s true.

If your son or daughter didn’t come to Christmas, it isn’t your fault. It is his or her way of coping with his or her own reality. If you weren’t invited to Christmas, it isn’t your fault. It is the other person living out of his/her reality.

When I am able to stop seeing the actions of others as a response to me, I am able to love more completely. It might be a family member, a co-worker, the neighbor OR it might be me — we all live, respond, react, make decisions out of our own reality and what we wish to be true (our dreams).

Paul gives this encouragement to the believers in Colosse and we do well to follow it as well.

13Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 

Colossians 3:13-14

I wonder how situations would changed if I made allowance for the faults of others. Not just faults, but differences of others like worldviews, vaccination status, politics and religious belief. What if I made room for that? What if I loved deeply in spite of differences — or faults — and determined to clothe myself with grace?

It seems I could avoid needless suffering if I quit taking it personally. Extend grace and forgiveness and put on love over everything else!

Don’t take anything personally!

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