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We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Don't take anything personally...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

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 of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering. ~The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

Recently I've been re-reading one of my favorite books called The Four Agreements. It's a simple to read book about the agreements we make with ourselves that lead us into a life of unfulfilled expectations in our relationships. Because a couple of the relationships in my life have been i guess what you could say as challenging - I decided it was time to crack open this book again. 

For me, I have many expectations out of my relationships. I give 150% to others (sometimes to a fault) and in return I expect 150%. I help family members in need, some in more desperate need than others, and expect to receive an abundance of appreciation and gratitude. Not to toot my own horn to make me feel how "good" I am but more to know that my loving efforts aren't taken for granted or expected. I want my giving to be a sign of how much I'm willing to give or give-up in order to be there for someone I care for. Because of this, I get easily disappointed. Little do I realize that the recipient in my life is perceiving this loving gift from a completely different perspective than me. They may feel shame, self-conscious, inadequate or just downright depressed because of their situation - and then having to take my form of help. I guess I don't realize what it is the other person is going through and may be unable to express their gratefulness in a way that is "satisfactory" for my feelings. 

That's why this book - especially the above quote on taking things personally - has been so important in me coming to terms with how I have let others affect my feelings about myself. In the past, I have taken what seems to be ungratefulness as a representation that my help or giving to my family member was not enough or that it wasn't good enough. Truly it isn't about me. It's about them. I have to know that as long as my efforts came from a loving place without my ego looking for praise, that I am truly providing the support and assistance they need. 

On the same note, I seem to get lots of opinions from other friends and family members about why I should or shouldn't be helping out or assisting my family member. They have their own thoughts and ideas about what kind of help should be given or how it should be given. I guess again, they aren't coming from my perception. If it's deep in my heart to do something, I should do it and not feel bad because someone else's opinion on the matter is different than mine. As a past people pleaser, this can be quite a challenge. Too many others opinions in my head can make it difficult to know what I truly feel but now I've decided that no matter what I should trust my own feelings and judgments. 

Maybe you can relate in some form or fashion. I just know that I believe so strongly in supporting and helping those in need - especially my own family - that I have to remember that I do it for my reasons from my perspective no matter what anyone else thinks or how they respond to my help. This will keep me free from future pain and suffering looking for affirmations of gratitude or affirmations of doing the right thing. 

I am including additional information about the book and the other agreements. Maybe something will give you and "aha" moment that will free you from unnecessary suffering in your relationships.
Everything we do is based on agreements we have made. In these agreements, we tell ourselves who we are, what everyone else is, how to act, what is possible and what is impossible. What we have agreed to believe creates what we experience. When these agreements come from fear, obstacles and blocks in our life develop  keeping us from realizing our greatest potential.
Based on an ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives and work into a new experience of effectiveness, balance and self-supporting behavior.  
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY - Repeated from above - 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.
DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. 
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST  - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
May you find some wisdom in these words as I have in helping me cope with difficult relationships and situations. If you've read this book before, maybe you have some insight or practical application to these agreements. Or maybe you just have a comment about what you've read. Please share your thoughts. We want to continue making this space an open forum for not just giving and charity but also in development of ourselves as mothers, wives, daughters, friends and so on.

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

1 comment:

  1. Hello Heather,
    My mother is like you. Most of the time I do not need her favors. They are actually very wearisome to me and it is annoying when she "expects an abundance of appreciation and gratitude" from me.
    Just let it be... :)