I wrote an article in my last series where I suggested that those in the process of transitioning, should just own it. I have been thinking about that. I think that whole idea of just owning it, can apply to any of us.
We spend our lives trying to make others happy. We feel that in doing so, we can gain their acceptance and love. In doing so, we also lose a part of ourselves. We stop being genuine. There is an old Hindu teaching, “There are many paths up the mountain. The only one not getting to the top, is the one who is running around and around telling everyone else they are on the wrong path.” In its simplicity, it is a very deep teaching. Who is to say that the path you are on, is not the one intended for you.
I think that when we give that power to others to decide our path, we diminish ourselves. Rather than reach our own fulfillment, we become an image that pleases everyone else, but leaves us shallower and shallower.
On the path to reclaiming ourselves, it may just require a slight shift in perspective. For some, it may require real work. I came across a book that helped me. It was written by Don Miguel Ruiz, called The Four Agreements. The book is a worthwhile read, but a summation is here.
The Four Agreements are:
- Be Impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best.
I found these simple agreements to really help me. This is more important when you are transitioning. We have a tendency to make assumptions about what others think of us. Of course, this is not limited to transgender people, but people in general. We get so caught up in images.
I think that making assumptions is probably the worst. For some reason, we always go for the negative assumption. Though admittedly, I have made positive assumptions that didn’t work out well. The thing is, we have to almost train ourselves not to assume anything. We don’t know what someone else’s path is like. We can’t make assumptions that on a given day and a given hour and precise minute, they will be on board with whatever our thought or doing is. As it turns out, they might be quite fine with it any other day, but that particular moment in time, they are distracted, or dealing with something. We don’t know and unfortunately seemed programmed to think the worst.
We have to get over that. Stop making assumptions about how others will perceive us. Stop taking criticism, especially in the things we say and do, personally. Start living an impeccable life. Start living your truth, your path. It is your journey, your life, own it!
When I first read Don Miquel’s book, it struck such a cord with me. I could see these patterns in myself. I have worked to try to lessen these in myself, but still have a lot of work to do. I think the other three really go for moving forward in a positive fashion.
I think one of the most important is, don’t take anything personally. I tell you, that was my downfall earlier in my life. Everything was personal. You looked sideways and I thought you hated me while you were actually just looking at the butterfly that landed on my shoulder. I had been so conditioned to see the dark in life, that is where my mind went. I soon realized that sometimes, it isn’t about me. Though, I don’t see why it shouldn’t always be about me. Okay, just kidding on that. We have to realize that sometimes other people have things affecting them in their lives and they just may not have the time or inclination to connect with us on the level we are hoping they do. Don’t take it personally, just accept that it is a moment in time.
I think the other two teachings from Don Miquel are really important. I truly believe that if we always strive to do our best, and we are impeccable with our words, we can’t help but gain the respect of others good or bad. They may not like what we have to say or do, but if it comes from a place of the heart and we are true to our word, they can respect that. If we say one thing but do another, we lose that.
We can strive to do our best. It doesn’t mean that we have to succeed at everything we do. It just means that in whatever we intend to do, we give it our heart and soul. We put our love into everything we do.
I think that is something that we have to strive to do. Put our love, our hearts, in all we do. Not only be impeccable in our words, but in our hearts.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Very well stated Emma!