The second of the Four Agreements, a bestselling book by Don Miguel Ruiz is: Don't take anything personally.
Everyone seems to be offended these days. It is virtually impossible to put out a statement on social media that won't offend someone. In fact, some people seem to work at finding fault in everything that is posted, written or recorded.
Things that were not offensive 20 or 30 years ago, suddenly cause an uproar and everyone has to take a side.
While it would seem like a bad thing to make a statement that intends to make people angry and upset, it is just a statement and someone's opinion. If we allow it to upset us, we give that person power over us.
As we grow spiritually, we might find ourselves more sensitive to harsh words and criticisms. Just because our energy has grown more sensitive, does not mean that others have power over our emotions.
In fact, this type of sensitivity shows that we have more healing work to do.
Say, for instance, a person has recently become a member of a particular church or spiritual study group. That group may have rules that members are expected to follow. You feel good in that group. You feel a sense of belonging and safety knowing that others think and feel the way you do. The philosophy makes sense and you may have even seen positive effects and healing by following the group guidelines.
Then you go on social media.
Someone writes a post calling the group, harmful and stupid.
Your identity is tied up in that group. In your mind, that person just called YOU stupid. You might decide to lash out in a comment feed or call the person out when you see them in public.
Did they actually call you stupid? No. They may have expressed it as fact, but it is only an opinion. It is very likely they do not know anyone in the group or even know that you are a part of it.
Congratulations, you have just taken something personally.
Not only have you given your power away, but you have shown the other person what they need to do to take more of it away.
Sometimes we even take something personally on behalf of another person. We may be offended when someone insults a person with special needs or expresses a judgment based on a persons sex, lifestyle, appearance or status in life.
Whether we do it for ourselves or another, taking things personally is always about giving our power away. When we give power away, we diminish our ability to act, educate and create positive change and understanding.
Sometimes people will deliberately try to push our buttons. When we react, they pat themselves on the back for a job well done. When we don't react, the “attack” will often stop. Why should they waste energy trying to offend someone who refuses to play the game?
A normally pleasant peaceful person, can be having a bad day and act in an angry way. Becoming angry in response, doesn't resolve the situation, but might destroy a good relationship. Showing compassion may be challenging, but the results bring healing and spiritual growth.
While there are truly things that are unjust, giving our power away, by taking things personally does nothing to solve them.
If you were a life guard, you would not be very helpful if you became hysterical at the sight of a drowning person. If you ran in the water in that condition, you would probably drown yourself.
If a doctor panicked at the sight of blood, they would not be able to use their mind and experience to save the patient.
As a lightworker, your job is to shine light into the darkness. To spread love where hate has taken hold. If you waste your time being offended and getting into arguments on social media, you lose time and energy that you could be using to take positive action. Using your vote, donating or volunteering for causes that you believe in. Researching companies to support or boycott.
Some lightworkers have become so sensitive that they run from the darkness. They wag their fingers, saying, “You can keep your negativity over there! I'm busy trying to be spiritual!”.
Many will say, “I can't help it! I am just an empath!” So are a lot of other people. Empathy is a spiritual gift. If you run from the emotions you feel and the angry words of others, you turn this gift into a curse.
When you feel overwhelmed, ask, “What can I do to help? How can I shine light into this situation? How can I be part of the solution instead of the problem?”
Your Angels, guides and Higher Self, will always give you an answer.
Your ego may not always like the answer, because you will never “win” the argument, but your positive words and actions will promote peace and unity. That is the ultimate job of a lightworker. And the world needs this work more now than ever before.