this doesn’t really need any more words. these words are succinct and clear. and i appreciated them more than jay could know when she sent this message to me.
d always repeats to me ‘don’t take anything personally’ but, at the times he says this, i am ready to jab back with examples of when he has ‘taken it personally’. we are human, after all, and things people and say do affect us. were we to be teflon, we could avoid most hurt, but people are made of cutaneous cells that absorb, not the stuff of good frying pans or the feathers of cold-water ducks.
once i heard an interview with a woman who was 95 or 96 years old. she was in excellent fitness, no plaguing physical difficulties, with a robust view of life and living and a quick laugh. she was asked to what she owed this phenomenal overall good health. she replied, “i don’t take anything personally.” after a moment she added, “or seriously”.
it’s a part of me to wonder why people have said barbed or snarky, malicious or unkind things to me, why they have been ugly or hateful. if i sit back and look from afar, i realize that they are, at the very least, consistent. their behavior has been the same, their bite has become predictable. regardless of my action or inaction, they are hurtful. remembering it is ‘because they are them’ is helpful, especially in the path of not-taking-it-personally.
but it’s not so easy. i guess i still have to work on this.