Several years ago Mark, a friend of mine told me about the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I was intrigued and went directly to Barnes & Noble without passing go. Once there however, I was disappointed to learn that everyone else had heard about it too and they were out of the book. Impatient as I usually am, I went to the book stacks to check for myself. And like that wise computer informed me.. they were indeed out of stock. BUT. They did have a 48 deck card series. So I promptly bought it.
I use the cards as a sort of daily inspiration. I read the card and go about my day. I usually forget that I’ve even read a card. But none the less, the day’s seed has been planted deep within the filing system of my brain. Scary as it may be, my brain is fertile ground for inspiration-type thoughts to grow with wild abandon.
Today’s card with the heading: Don’t Take Anything Personally
And the subtitle: See Other People As They Are
And the text: “ When you see other people as they are without taking it personally, you can never be hurt by what they say or do. Even if others lie to you. It is okay. They are lying to you because they are afraid you will discover that they are not perfect.”
This card reminded me of something someone told me once. Terry was a bible study leader and he shared these words with me. “Open Your Eyes And See”
Truth be told, I’d had my eyes closed for a very long time. Because I did see. Clearly. And I didn’t like what I saw. Not one little bit. But I had learned to live behind a protective curtain of denial ever since I was a child. I needed that denial in order to survive emotionally. I looked the other way so that I could stay, because I was a child and that was my option. I had graduated from high school at 17 and all the while my friends were preparing for college, I was preparing to live on my own. I worked full-time at Target all summer long, using my employee discount to buy household items. A few days after my 18th birthday I moved into my own apartment. In some ways, I was free.
In other ways though, I was still trapped. I had never learned to see a person for who they really are. I accepted the good and ignored the bad. A person can get into trouble doing that. And of course I did. I befriended the wrong girlfriends and I married the wrong guy. I was taken advantage of time and again. Because I kept doing what I knew to do. I saw the good and denied the bad. Until life brought me teachers like Terry, or The Four Agreements cards.
I’m still learning to open my eyes and see people as they are. Fortunately I don’t judge others as harshly as I judge myself. I’m sure I’ll be learning that lesson too when I get to that card.