Tag Archives: love yourself

Did You Grow Up Trying to Please Others?

hiding-1209131_1280

 

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Did you grow up always trying to please others, searching for approval & the need for validation from others & learn to live your life ‘certain’ in the knowledge that were you ‘stupid enough’ to not only have but enforce boundaries with regard to your own life & that by doing so then others wouldn’t, or worse still stop loving you?

If you did I can pretty much say that for you like me life became a vicious cycle of wrestling to cater for your own needs & wants as well as servicing those of others and as such you will have lived anything but a fearless life

I’ve learned many things over the course of my life

However one thing has remained constant & that simply put is this we are ALL of using fighting our own battles & demons on many levels, BUT so are those we are both surrounded by & hold dear. When we are so close that we can’t see the wood for the trees and should one, if not both of us be prepared to see the other side then we get into difficulties.

But there also ALWAYS comes a point when BOTH sides have no choice other than to take responsibility for their part in the problem….

Being brutally honest I’ve learned that in having grown up being a people pleaser & being afraid to set & reinforce boundaries for others in my life, that I had inadvertently become the root cause of the problem!

GUILTY AS CHARGED!

But even so there comes a point in any situation when no matter how much we love, how much we give, how much we ignore, how much we hope that things will change for the better they NEVER will if the all important factor of RESPECT is missing!

But you can be certain of one thing

People can & do get the emotions of LOVE & RESPECT mixed and yet nothing will ever change in a relationship unless both sides both understand and embrace the difference

This is a monumental mistake & the crux of many a failed relationship…husband & wife, father & mother, mother & daughter, the list my friends is endless.

In my humble opinion to love & be loved unconditionally is the greatest gift we will ever be able to give or receive because it comes freely, without strings & by definition without condition.

Respect on the other hand is a privilege. One to be earned, gained if you will & borne on the back of many things and for sure my boundaries & yours will be as different as our fingerprints. Much like the boundaries themselves the reasons others will respect/disrespect us or themselves are equally as varied.

The one thing that people forget is that if a boundary is important enough for someone to set it then it is important enough for the rest of us to respect it.

Whether or not we believe it to be a valid boundary is totally irrelevant.

The problem begins when boundaries & respect become inextricably intertwined with love.

How many times have we heard or even said & moreover believed scenarios such as:

‘If she loved me she wouldn’t ask me to do that”…!

”Whether he loves me or not he should respect my boundaries’…!

Only you can decide if either or both of these generalisations are true and only you can decide whether or not you will put up with either or both of the consequences of them with regard to your own situation BUT for me at least & being brutally honest here…

If someone loves us unconditionally then we don’t have to honour & respect their boundaries – WRONG!

If we truly love someone enough then we will provide them with the boundaries they need. Ones which will help & enable them to thrive & grow in this life, Ones which will allow them to live & learn & grow into someone who they CAN both love & respect themselves in order to enable others t do the same.

If those we love & care for fall into the category of being someone who, no matter how hard you try, how much you give & how much you love continually & habitually not only ignore your boundaries but in doing so totally disrespect them & even go out of their way to cross them?

Then you/we will reach a point where we have to decided what we are prepared to accept & equally what we are not prepared to accept…As Eckhart Tolle so rightly said in any situation;

If you need to change it then do. If you can’t change it then you need to accept it for what it is. If you can’t accept it then it’s time to leave for all else is madness.

There are givers & there are takers in this life and yes there are those who successfully manage both but the question is how much of YOUR LIFE are you prepared to gift to someone who is unwilling or unable to at least meet you half way??

We ALL have limits and on a day where they have been reached the question is will you choose to let them become part of the solution or exacerbate the problem?

Again only time will tell but if like me you have reached a cross roads in your emotional life then maybe it’s time to start a daily practice of self-validation and tell yourself this…

Today I honour myself ENOUGH to take a chance that by being willing to enforce my boundaries then those I love and care for will not only LOVE me but RESPECT my boundaries as well

And after 57 years on this planet as hard as it is and will continue to be? It’s a chance that I am FINALLY willing to take because like you & everyone else on this 3rd rock from the sun know that much like my boundaries …

I MATTER! I AM ENOUGH!

 

Namaste – Sue

 

It All Starts With You

It All POST

”Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives”

Louise Hay

 Unless we believe in, respect & love ourselves how can we expect anyone else to?

When we better understand this we become ever closer to finding our authentic self but for some the road to self discovery and the realisation that not only are we worthy of our place in this world but that we do matter can at times be a long and difficult one with a price which very often we aren’t prepared to pay.

The mere thought of the consequences of our actions along the way being enough to stop us dead in our tracks, such is the fear of upsetting or even losing those we love for fear of being deemed selfish!

So what on earth causes us to lose sight of the fact that we actually DO matter?

The majority of us I’m fairly certain will have been told countless times by those close to  us; parents, spouses, friends and so on things like…….. ”Stop being so selfish” or ”The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know”. In all honesty I’m also equally certain that these things and others like them will have been said largely in a genuine effort to make us realise that there were other people to consider at that time and let’s face it……..no matter what the situation there is always a bigger picture to consider.

However subconsciously (and moreover if we’re the sort who actually do care and give a damn) when we’re hearing this type of thing historically and consistently on whatever level and regardless of either intent or source then slowly but surely the seeds of wanting to ”people please” begin to take root. We start to think before we do or say things for fear of upsetting others or God forbid being deemed selfish. We start to second guess the reactions of others if we say something we ”think” might come across as unfair.We slowly but surely and almost certainly (initially anyway) subconsciously start to convince ourselves that ”it doesn’t matter” if our opinions aren’t taken on board, if we leave what we want/need to do till another day, which almost never comes.

……..IF? IF? IF? ………..

At this point although we are completely unaware of it we have placed ourselves very firmly at the back of the metaphorical queue in our minds when it comes to our own needs, feelings or emotions because we have come to believe that they and we don’t matter when it comes down to not only looking after but actually validating ourselves in any way.

Quite simply our need to not only people please but be validated by others  becomes the yardstick by which we measure our own self-worth.

We mistakenly start to think that by being all things to all men we will be loved and appreciated all the more for our efforts. In reality what tends to happen is the exact opposite because the more we give, the more we do then the more others will not only allow us to but will come to expect from us. When on occasion we can’t for whatever reason we find ourselves unwittingly deemed lacking in some way. In essence it’s a very short step to the polar opposite of nothing we do is ever enough!

The crushing fear of being labelled ” not good enough” or ”selfish beyond belief” robs us of our sense of well-being, of our self-esteem of our sense of self-worth and of our confidence to stand up for ourself. Something inside us becomes broken and before we know it we are completely lost.

Piecing together the jigsaw that is our broken self takes courage

However without doubt it should always start with loving ourselves because we are worth it!

The power to change be it the world, our circumstances, our future or ourselves starts with us. It all starts with us because we are the architects of our own lives. We must become mindful of the fact that we are the only ones who are responsible for us if we want to see any positive changes in ways which will not only alter how we see ourselves but how others do too.

In order for any of this to happen we more often than not have to unlearn everything which we have previously come to know. We have to accept that we are a work in progress and that it is not only ok it is more than good enough. Having to reclaim that which we have inadvertently lost……the absolute right to be who or what we want to be…….is a big ask of anyone, let alone those of us who over time have seen the very fabric of who we really are eroded away to the point that we’re actually unsure who we were in the first place!

Having discounted our needs, wants, feelings and emotions for so long it has become a foreign concept to us to not only validate ourselves but to need and expect those previously unwilling or unable, to do so as well. It is at this point we have to face perhaps for the first time the fear that others will and do choose not to come along our journey with us from hereon in and we need to accept the fact that in making this choice they are saying more about themselves than they ever did about us. As upsetting as we may find this, when we remain resolute (as we should) in our intentions to validate ourselves going forward, then our journey for a while at least becomes harder.

BUT!!!

In doing what we have to do in order to get to where we want to be, we slowly, but will nevertheless come to love ourselves for who we are, we will become comfortable in our own skin and be grateful to be so.

Up to this point we have lost sight of many things, but the courage we have gained in facing up to the challenges and adversity which we have along the way and the resultant rise in our self-esteem as we rediscover our authentic self has come to help us really understand that self-love and self-care are truly very different from being selfish.

The sudden revelation that our thoughts are the most powerful ability we possess and that we not only have the power to be who and what we want to be but it be liberating in the extreme serves to further increase the sense of well-being and peace which settles over us.

On the most basic of levels then, when we accept that we cannot (nor is it practical) to be everything to everyone all the time because in being human we are not perfect then we have started to turn our negative self-talk around.

Having done this we can finally afford ourselves the love and respect which we most definitely deserve but previously we hadn’t.

In being accepting of our shortcomings and imperfections. In caring for, respecting and loving ourselves then we become increasingly touched  how much and how quickly others follow suit. We become surprised that people really do love us just the way we are.

We would do well to remember that……How things start. How they finish. Is our responsibility

When we believe in, respect and love ourselves then others will too.

So if you validate just one thing today let it be yourself because after all

It All Starts With You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

Dont be so POST

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

Lucille Ball

I have long struggled to reconcile myself to the fact that practicing Self Care  as opposed to being Selfish is not only ACCEPTABLE, it’s NECESSARY! Whilst for me at least being selfish has never been an option on this journey through life, the alternative and far healthier choice of caring  positively and in a loving manner for oneself, I have for a very long time mistakenly believed to be the same thing. In fact NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Self Care;  Looking after ones self in a healthy manner be it physically, mentally or spiritually
Selfish;  lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

When you look at the definitions side by side the difference in meaning is CLEAR for all to see. Yet in my minds eye the fact that on occasion when I chose to utter the word NO in response to say a request to do something for another the guilt and anguish I experienced at my own PERCEIVED selfishness  simply because I had ”refused to help someone” in some way, knew absolutely no bounds. Unfounded guilt, coupled with  equally unfounded paranoia that they would deem my negative response to their request as me being SELFISH fueled a self perpetuating decline overtime into the unrealistic realm of me responding with a compliant YES to requests REGARDLESS of whether I needed to do something different at the time or not!

In real terms what that meant on the most basic of levels is that in the great scheme of things when asked to do……..(you fill in the blanks)….and regardless of circumstance, situation, time constraints, personal commitments I would more often than not be heard to proffer an enthusiastic YES (when actually feeling anything but!) and usually at great personal expense in terms of the impact on both my physical and mental well being. Simply put I had done an OUTSTANDING job of convincing myself that without doubt to proffer an equally firm but polite NO would mean that I was SELFISH personified!

In essence I had decided at an extremely young age that I would in no way become a SELFISH person,  A noble premise but one in which aiming to achieve, I had unwittingly applied a totally unrealistic set of principles for negotiating the minefield of life. Principles which would see me time and again put the needs of others over and above those of myself regardless of personal cost. In all honesty the cost incurred was probably an equal mix in terms physical, emotional and mental decline. The concept of SELF-CARE never having even been allowed the opportunity to be considered. In my ”quest” to become ”all things, to all people” a modern day mix of Mother Theresa & Nelson Mandela if you will, my default setting had turned me into a somewhat substandard version of Mary Poppins as I had very definitely become ”practically IMPERFECT in every way”.

The pressure I had put myself under by striving to reach the unattainable saw me buckle under my PERCEIVED FAILURE to be the person I THOUGHT others wanted me to be as opposed to the person that I ACTUALLY AM! Such was my physical and mental decline that I was the last  one to realise just exactly what my self imposed mindset had cost me.

Almost too late I realised that those who I loved and who loved me in return did so simply BECAUSE of who I AM and NOT because what I can do for them. All they wanted (had EVER wanted) was for me to be HAPPY, HEALTHY & WHOLE! Were I on occasion willing and ABLE to help them out in some way then that would be ENOUGH.

I WOULD BE ENOUGH!

So late in the day I came to understand the concept of SELF-CARE! Together with it’s implications and benefits. The outcome for me (and hopefully those of you who may also lack self awareness) is such that as a matter of priority I  now strive everyday to seek BALANCE in life: a healthy, balanced diet, quality sleep and enough of it, to spend quality time with loved ones and above all else to make time to relax and just ”be” – whether sitting, reading, meditating, essentially doing something where I show MYSELF the love I now know I DESERVE and which without forethought I make so readily available to others.

When you truly come to understand AND practice the art of SELF-CARE, see it in action for yourself AND THEN realise that life as you knew it has not only NOT ceased to exist BUT in fact IMPROVED BEYOND MEASURE then you will know without a shadow of a doubt that to;

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

……..probably number amongst some of the truer words ever spoken! Never lose sight of the fact that when it comes to being loved then you are right up there at the top of the list so remember going forward

”Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!”