Anyone who knows me probably knows that I tend to take things too personally. This is unfortunate. I have always had trouble viewing unpleasant situations, actions and statements through an inoffensive lens. (Just ask Mr. Wonderful, my mother or my terribly kind and patient best friend.) I just never understood why that is. I don't think those who know me even marginally well would say that I am a self-centered narcissist. (An oxymoron, yes.) I think they would say that I am a loving and empathetic person who does her best. So how did my views about being slighted become so misguided?
I think the answer can be found in this recent and brilliant post from Radical Happiness.
Do you see it? The answer lies in how I view myself, in my propensity to view myself not with love and compassion but with critical judgment and discrimination. When you view yourself in that light, it's near impossible to view the actions of others as simply misguided and/or overly and unnecessarily critical. It's when we understand that their words or actions are not necessarily meaningful, useful or appropriate that we can reject the premise of such words and actions and move on, unaffected. It is then that we can say, "I'm sorry that you feel that way/acted that way toward me, but I recognize that it comes from a flawed and contracted place, not from a loving or truthful place. I don't agree with your assessment/action of me/the situation; I choose love and acceptance -- of myself and of you."
It's there, amidst the compassion for ourselves and others, that we will find freedom.