Don’t Take Anything Personally

You only experience your thoughts. Or, to put it differently, your thoughts create your experience.

Between the world and your experience, there’s always a thought.

This concept is difficult to grasp, but it’s the truth.

If someone tells you something, and you get upset, it’s not what the person has said that makes you upset: it’s a thought in your own head that makes you upset. While it is true that the thought has appeared because of what the person has said, ultimately it’s the thought that creates your feeling. A different thought, therefore, will create a different feeling.

You react to your thoughts. You live inside your thoughts.

Every experience you have is created by a thought.

Do I mean that you can never experience the “objective” outside world? Yes, I do mean that.

Living inside your thoughts implies that you can never be truly objective.

Because you can only see the world through the thoughts that appear in your own head. And, a different person will see the world through the thoughts that appear in her head.

So there’s no right or wrong, in terms of who “sees the truth”. No human being will ever see anything objectively.

When you are arguing with someone, remember that you’re reacting to the thoughts in your head, and the other person is reacting to the ones in her head. Don’t take it personally. Neither what the other person says, nor what you say. You’re both just reacting to thoughts passing by in each other’s head. That’s it. There’s nothing personal there.

Let me rephrase the first paragraph of Khalil Gibran’s poem “On Children” (highly recommended if you’ve never read it and have children) to state this more beautifully:

Your thoughts are not your thoughts.
They are the thoughts of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.