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The River of Life Flows: Don’t Take It Personally…

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“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” Don Miguel Ruiz

The River of Life Flows: Live your life...

I’ve been meaning to write on another Daily Post prompt that caught my eye because I love the idea of the unexpected; a word or sentence you find at random that slowly yields its message or meaning to us. The prompt was to grab a sentence from the nearest book and develop a post as below. I picked up the book Lean Forward Into Your Life by Mary Anne Radmacher and The River of Life poem was referenced in the sentence. The key point of the poem was that regardless of our attitude or response to events around us, the river of life continues to flow and it is not stopped by our reactions or decisions. The river flows on; carrying us all forward to meet our individual and collective fate. Life is about kismet. We can choose the positive or we can linger, deny or choose to stay angry or sad; the river carries on.

The specific chapter I opened in the book was about not taking things so personally and going with the flow of life. When someone inadvertently offends you, resolve it, discuss it and move on.  If we choose to say nothing, then, we shouldn’t hold it against the person, nor use the old passive/aggressive approach as it serves no purpose but to keep us tied to the hurt. Move on…

If feasible, we should find an amicable recourse and if that fails, get on with our life and plans. Sometimes, we hold onto situations and fixate on the woulda/coulda/shoulda as if that would change things. We are better off looking for concrete solutions; once we are sure our perceptions are accurate. Time, like life,  is short;  an outburst isn’t always about us.  Let’s move forward, washing off the imagined and even real hurts in the flowing river…  Do we hold grudges or resolve conflicts? It is our choice.

The Assignment: Grab the nearest book (or website) to you right now. Jump to paragraph 3, second Sentence. Write it in a post.
The Book: Lean Forward Into Your Life by Mary Anne Radmacher
The Spot: Paragraph 3, (sorry it’s one sentence).
Write It: ‘My friend, Jonathan Huie, expresses the sense of ” don’t take it personally” in his poem.’ The River of Life.’
Come back soon as I will post the excerpt on the poem. Update -Poem & More below! 🙂

The River of Life by Jonathan Huie (excerpted)
The River of Life flows without emotion
The River surges. The River quiets.
The River overflows its banks. The River dries to a trickle.
The River swirls and storms. The River becomes calm.
The River runs clear. The River runs dark.
The River is indifferent to what benefit or what harm is caused by its water.
The River is the River, and that is all there is to it.

The River of Life knows no obstacles.
The River can cut through solid rock – in its own time.

The River of Life is not powerful – and it is not weak.
The River of Life is not gentle – and it is not strong or rough
The River of Life is not deep or shallow.
The River of Life is not nourishing or punishing.
The River of Life is simply the River of Life.
The River of Life just IS. There is no more to it.
One can flow harmoniously wit the River – or one can struggle fearfully against the river – and the River just flows.
One can accept the River – or one can deny the River – and the River just flows.
One can worship the River of Life – or one can curse the River of Life – and the River just flows.
I choose to flow with the River of Life.    Jonathan Huie (2003 – inspired by Byron Katie‘s School for the Work)

If we reflect on a time when someone said something to us that seemed outrageous, we probably learned a great lesson; it was not our reality but the projections of the other.  We can choose to be like the river and just flow on, washing away the negative stuff and all that comes with it. We can wallow in the pain and get stuck, pointlessly, in the mud. Don’t waste your precious time. Flow on…

Do you give others the benefit of the doubt? How do you handle situations when you are inadvertently offended? Is any situation worth expending extra energy?  How? Why? Do share your thoughts, opinions, comments!

Positive Motivation Tip: Go with the flow of life, it moves on regardless of your views.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of flowing river via

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

32 Comments leave one →
  1. 20/03/2011 1:02 am

    Hi Eliz,
    You must be a mind-reader. 🙂
    Just today, something occured at work that required me to make a choice…be offended or look at the event in a positive way…knowing me through my posts, I’m sure you know which choice I made. 🙂
    I believe we always have the option to view things positively or negatively. It never makes sense to me to take the negative approach to life…it just makes EVERYBODY feel badly, me included.

    • 20/03/2011 5:37 am

      Hi Viv,
      Your sister here just followed the prompt and went with what manifested; It is a helpful reminder to all of us to remember that we have choices. 🙂
      I like to give people plenty opportunity to do the right thing and then I walk away from them…
      Most of us don’t like manipulators and people who take advantage of others. (Thankfully, currently, I don’t have any of those in my life)
      I truly believe in fair play and justice and being a fixed sign, I’m loyal and logical… 🙂
      Having an active intuition which is getting frightfully stronger with age helps; I believe women in general have this quality and all we need is to treat each other fairly.
      Most of us try to see the forest for the trees and not jump but it’s hard for anyone; especially when we feel slighted or that someone is taking advantage or hoodwinking us.
      Nancy has written several strong posts on the subject Spirit Lights The Way
      There are things that are glaringly annoying and as I get older, I choose to walk away than stay and seethe… healthy for my soul.
      Yes you are right, we have options… and the poem affirms it. 🙂
      Thanks for your feedback and hope all is resolved. 🙂

  2. 20/03/2011 6:00 am

    That was a disturbing photograph Frizztext… 🙁

  3. 20/03/2011 6:38 am

    Thank you for that poem! It’s so beautiful. And what wisdom there is in those words. I must admit that I do take things personally when someone close to me, somebody I love, does something that I see as offensive. But I’ll be the first to say that it doesn’t help. “Flow on” should be my mantra.

    • 20/03/2011 6:45 am

      Same here… 🙂 The universe wanted it clear that stuff/drama happens and we don’t have to take it all to heart and stay miserable. We can flow forward… I kinda liked it too… and needed to hear it again. Thank you, Eliz

  4. 20/03/2011 6:42 am

    I don’t know, if the rivers in Japan are big enough, to wash all sorrows away …
    P.S.: sorry for setting links, Eliz, I’ve forgotten you don’t like it (youtube also does not allow to set links) – I apologize, I hope a river will wash this sin of me away to the ocean of forgiveness …

    • 20/03/2011 7:20 am

      No apology needed… dear Blog buddy,
      It’s just that with each new link you were ending in my spam box…
      It’s All Good and thank you for understanding.
      I really enjoy blogging with you! 🙂
      Thank you!

  5. 20/03/2011 5:37 am

    hi Eliz,
    greetings by flickrcomments – and a Golden Gate Quartet youtube video: Down by the riverside …

    • 20/03/2011 5:54 am

      Yes Frizztext,
      I liked that post and for a moment thought it was one I had visited in the past but alas, no. By the way, your extra links are showing up in my blog as spam… so please, kindly limit them. 🙂
      A suggestion is to tell me the post title without the link as I already read all your posts. That should help. Hope you understand. 🙂
      Thank you,

  6. 20/03/2011 5:42 am

    “Let’s move forward, washing off the imagined and even real hurts in the flowing river…” well composed extract …

    • 20/03/2011 5:56 am

      Thank you… I like the idea of cleansing waters… a lot of symbolism there too. I didn’t know what would come up when I picked a random page in the book. Food for thought. 🙂

  7. 20/03/2011 5:46 am

    Compare the photo of Claude Renault on my blog.

  8. 20/03/2011 8:57 am

    Like this post. River of Life Flows-Don’t take it personally.

    Happenings in our life, cause us at moments to take things personally, I have been guilty of this on certain occasions. But, after a time of thinking about it; I realize it’s my insecurities taking over; more then the attack, it’s all in the action I choose to combat the situation. Most of the time, now I choose to walk away.
    It’s better to let it go-let the River of Life Flow-and Don’t take it personally.I too find things more annoying as I grow older. I’ve learned the best way to combat differences, is to move on; to live in harmony with my thinking, reactions and my choices.

    • 29/03/2011 3:23 am

      I agree with you on that one: I do walk away from stuff and while i might say something to the offender, I move on… life is short! 😉

  9. 20/03/2011 9:02 am

    Oprah said something so wise about this once, years ago, and I soooo wish I could remember what she said!

    • 29/03/2011 3:25 am

      Hmmm I wonder what that was… perhaps, let it go and let it flow? 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. 20/03/2011 6:07 am

    dear Eliz, you inspired me to make a following post, featuring your thoughts and a famous flickr-photographer.

    • 20/03/2011 7:24 am

      If I recall, they bury the sadhus in the seated lotus position…
      I didn’t know about tossing them in the Ganges. Hmmm.

  11. 20/03/2011 11:20 am

    You know I’m all about choosing to move on. I may stew briefly but I won’t let it keep me from moving forward. I always say to myself, “You will never get that time back so don’t waste it.”
    Good post!

    • 29/03/2011 3:27 am

      Ditto. Time is ephemeral and it is best to spend it or waste it on things that matter to us… Even if what we observe is personal, it’s always best to carry on. It does win the day because we soon forget as we pursue other things. 🙂

  12. 20/03/2011 1:45 pm

    Also loved this:

    We can choose to be like the river and just flow on, washing away the negative stuff and all that comes with it. We can wallow in the pain and get stuck, pointlessly, in the mud.

    I do give people the benefit of the doubt, as well as second, third, and fourth chances. I am open to the fact that they may, in time, change and become less “disagreeable.”

    But . . . if they continue to be “disagreeable,” I choose to limit my contact with them. I don’t like “toxic” people.

    • 29/03/2011 3:34 am

      I hear you and the same here… I do like to think of reasons why people behave a certain way, and then I observe their behavior for a while before I decide to move on… 😉

  13. 20/03/2011 12:00 pm

    I struggle with passive aggressive tendencies–especially with those I love the most…daily, it’s a challenge to choose a higher path for myself.
    My new mantra is “speak your words” and I have been…
    here’s a tongue-in-cheek “guide” to being the best passive-aggressive you can be…a snippet from my life, alas.
    great post…good one to wake to on this glorious Sunday morning!

    (I don’t usually leave behind links…but this one was apt.)

    • 29/03/2011 3:30 am

      I love your mantra of speak your words… There are times when we hold our tongue, but after a behavior or passive/aggressive behavior persists, it is good to nip it and move on… 🙂
      Thanks for your comment Jane!

  14. 20/03/2011 1:39 pm

    Love that quote:
    “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” Don Miguel Ruiz
    We are far more irrelevant that Ego would like to believe. 😀
    If you’re interested:
    Thanks, Eliz

    • 29/03/2011 3:32 am

      Our human response is to defend our need to be right, powerful, brave and egotistical… And then we claim to be without ego… Hey, that’s why we are on this journey right? The lessons, the falls, the wins… 🙂
      Thanks for the comment Nancy!

  15. 20/03/2011 11:22 pm

    Eliz, I am running a little behind in keeping up with everyones posts but I read this at just the right time. Thank you!

    • 29/03/2011 3:36 am

      Thank you Jeanne,
      Yes it has been a while… Do come back and visit… 🙂

  16. 05/04/2011 12:39 pm

    I always take things personally. I am going to try not to let it bog me down and to let it wash over me and move ahead. Thanks!


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