For what it’s worth … it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.
– Eric Roth (screenwriter, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
I read an article today that woke me up to a very stark reality…I’m am a recovering people pleaser. Sure, I knew that I like to make others happy or comfortable, but the wake up call was when I started assuaging others to my own detriment. Nodding along with the co-worker taking credit for something she had no hand in, pretending that the joke thinly disguised as a insult was no big deal…There have been more times than I would like to remember where I held back because I didn’t want to make someone feel bad or because I was too embarrassed to say something. My family would undoubtedly find it hard to believe, but in my outside relationships (platonic and otherwise), I was selling myself way too short. Crazy to say this now, considering that I’m in my 30s, but I had no clue how to speak up for myself and still be a good Christian. I was stuck in scripture that taught me to turn the other cheek, that celebrated self-control and doing onto others as you would have them do onto you, but at what cost? My self-esteem? I am much better than I was, but I am haunted by ghosts of years’ past, the things I should have said and done; I find myself reliving moments like if I was in a time machine, maybe I can go back and do things ‘right’. But these ghosts are dead, only occasionally revived by by twisted need to torture myself. And for what? People-pleasing doesn’t please me; it doesn’t please God; it doesn’t even please the people I’m trying to please…so now what?