It's Not Personal, Sonny….

According to Don Miguel Ruiz and the Toltecs, never take anything personally is agreement number two.  This one is my biggest struggle.  It has taken me all these years to finally be able to laugh at myself, but I have the hardest time separating someone’s actions from me.  According to “The Four Agreements” (“the book” for future references), even if someone directly insults or undermines me, it is not personal.  That is their problem, their stuff.

In my world, I get all bent out of shape when my kids huff and puff at my discipline.  I ask them to do something: the face, the sigh, the groan, the balking, the negative verbiage…”never mind, I’ll take out the recycle bin.”  Why do I do that?  Am I the only mother on earth that will do anything for peace, including ruining my kids?  I think life was so chaotic and turbulent for my sister and I that I just want a nice, orderly, peaceful existence.

Who suffers in the long run?  Everyone! I become exacerbated, even angry.  I end up doing the chores that the kids SHOULD be doing and I just f*%#ed up their future wives’ life. My boys will expect their spouses to do what I’ve done for them.  Your welcome, girls!  Sorry!

In the work world, I get the same anxiety.  Why won’t people buy my book?  Why don’t I have more likes on Facebook and follows on Twitter?  My son (a.k.a. Mr. Rolex/lefty pitcher) says I’m uncool because I am following more people than follow me.  So I find myself not following people of interest after they follow me just to prove a point.  God forbid my numbers go down…what did I do? Was it something I said?  Do they know I am uncool?  Did Mr. Rolex tell them?

In the scheme of things, who gives a shit?  My Facebook/Twitter fan club will like me today and unfollow me tomorrow according to their own whims.  I cannot worry if my friends from the old hood ignore my posts.  I don’t need Xanax every time I share my page and my classmates won’t like it.  Hell, my cousin Carla won’t return my texts.  I keep reminding myself: they are busy; they are not trying to stick it to you; you are not on their radar.  It’s all ok.  I’m a good person.

If I am true to the teachings from “the book,” I would not be writing this blog.  Will I feel better when I get one thousand likes or twenty thousand follows?  Will I be a better mother if my kids never resist my authority?  No matter, I would probably continue to take out the recycle bin and risk my future daughters-in-law unhappiness.

Tell me what’s going on in your life.  I want to hear from you.

Amore & Baci (Love & Kisses),

Just Steph

Image  photo

6 thoughts on “It's Not Personal, Sonny….

  1. Mandy B. says:

    Oh geez, you think too much 😉 And, as a former teacher you’re also ruining your boys’ ability to self-sustain. And, besides the women in their lives, you may also be making things harder for their educators or friends. I am already over our society that seems to have a sense of entitlement…please do not contribute further to its degradation. How will they ever be truly happy if they don’t learn to be independent & take care of themselves or be able contribute to a greater good or cause? Home is the place where this attribute should be learned. My mom (God love her) taught me this & I am forever grateful though at the time I probably complained. In the end, her unwavering consistency & tough love will always have an effect on my life…and make me a better person I hope. Besides, sometimes family conflict is good because it teaches people how to problem-solve in a loving environment. It can bring people closer together & make families stronger in the end…just my personal opinion & something to think about. Be strong & teach them what living is all about (it’s definitely not just about receiving).

    • Just Steph says:

      Thank you so much for your input. I appreciate your comments. We are all works in progress. I was actually cracking up as I wrote that. It’s meant to make fun of myself, teach a wee lesson on life and what not to do. My husband thought it was hilarious as well, and he has to put up with me. There are things that I do for my family that are great, but that is not where I need improvement. I also don’t share as much of those things because I am not on a soapbox about how good I am. I would rather talk about my short comings and where I am working on things, since the journey is where we grow.
      I will take what you have said seriously. Please keep reading. Check out my book on my website: You may have to learn to appreciate my ethnicity and Boston humor to get a laugh out of my writing. Thanks again and have a fab week.
      Just Steph

      • Mandy B. says:

        I know you obviously do many great things & care deeply about your family or you wouldn’t spend time writing about such topics. I also understood your humor…however, I do know how certain habits creep into other areas of people’s lives & the ripple effects they have. That was my point. Humor & sarcasm make dealing with these things tolerable & much easier. I am a big fan of humor & sarcasm. Yet, when you’re in a situation, it’s easy to lose sight of objectivity & how the world interacts with others’ characteristics.

Leave a Reply