“There’s a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” I read this phrase over and over a couple of months ago, basically feeling my spirit jump around in my body with cheerleader pom-poms and a big placard that says “yaaaas queeeeeen!” (Whaaaaat? Sometimes my ‘spirit’ rocks a cheerleader uniform. I don’t choose these things, it chooses me.)
Anyways, the confirmation in my spirit reminded me that this phrase right here is my jam. Not taking things personally is my go-to response when I read an offensive status update or when I overhear someone make a snarky comment. Not taking things personally helps me to laugh it off when you make a joke about my reproduction rate (I have a lot of children okay). It helps me to smile and wave when I am overlooked for campaigns or promotions or positions.
But hey, I’m no superwoman. I mean, let’s get it out there, it’s not always easy to woooosahhhhh away an offence or a hurt. In fact, I don’t think that you’re suppose to simply brush off every single hurt and issue anyways. In some cases it must be dealt with, ya know, face to face by way of conversation. #adulting
But, for the most part, the little things – the small fights – well, those are the ones that I pass right along. I mean, if I’m going to pick it up, it’ll stick. So I let it brush by me (like a bundle of poop in a river) and I move on with my life, poop-free. It’s less stinky that way.
This wasn’t always my way of thinking though… I mean, if we’re going to be real let’s put that out there too. I had a thing for ‘fighting the good fight’. Every offence was a battle. Every hurt inflicted on me and mine, was a call to action. You know that Afrikaans saying “vinnig op haar perdtjie”? Well I was the “haar” and the “perdtjie” all at the same time. I was the personification of “Come at me, Bro.”
I eventually learnt a bunch of lessons that can now be turned into Drake song lyrics because it is that cliche-sounding. But these are my daily reminders and it kinda helps me to assess whether or not the situation is as big as my fragile heart is making it seem AND if the situation deserves to have as much attention as I am giving it.
My daily reminders are:
- Leave the small fights for the small fighters. Yeah it feels good to respond to every single snarky comment or snub. But your silence will often set you apart. Your silence will win wars that your words never could. Also, your silence gives the offender an opportunity to think about their actions and it gives you the opportunity to calm the heck down. Step away from the pepper spray, Becky, it’s not that deep.
- Fight your battles like a queen and not a peasant. As a Christian woman (Karen hair flip) I believe that I am the daughter of a King. That would make me a Princess. I honestly can’t see a Princess getting into a heated debate in someone’s Facebook comments section. We fight in the spiritual realm, with prayer and praise.
- To not take things so personally. Because Mama’s a firecracker! Seriously though, I hate injustice. I’ve often sabotaged my own peace by taking on the battles of others. But you know what, there are ways to have open discussions about injustice and inequality that won’t leave you with 2nd degree scarring (aka an offence).
Not taking things personally means I am guarding my heart. The Bible encourages us to guard our hearts because everything that we do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
At the end of the day, my friends, your peace is just too precious. It is too important. And it definitely is worth a lot more than a small fight.