Because you are a person, some things are very difficult not to take personally.
Events feel like unique misfortunes picked out especially for us.
How could that company have fired me? Why did my favorite client leave? Where does that horse get off walking away from me like that?
But despite the cinematic sense of karmic justice that we were taught to believe in when we were young, one of the true hallmarks of maturity is depersonalization. Not denial or disillusionment, but depersonalization.
Meaning, we let go of our compulsive need to dive endlessly into what everything means. We accept that the world does not automatically owe us any reward.
Ferguson’s documentary about the hidden forces that control our lives recaps this shift most eloquently:
Nobody is in control. We are guided and constrained and controlled by the systems we have made but don’t understand. But these systems are not greedy, they have no ambition, they have no ideology, they are not good and they are not evil. They are simply not like us.
It’s a perfect example of taking things in perspective, not taking them personally. And it’s precisely what we need to endure our many failures and rejections and losses.
Because even though the promised land was supposed to be nice, and even though we so enjoyed basking contentedly in the peace of innocence, floating on a tsunami of acceptance for whatever life throws at us is a much more enjoyable and much less labor intensive strategy.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you still trying to put foam toddler guards on all the sharp edges of the world?