Do your own thing and whoever shows up, shows up. This is my personal version of “Follow your bliss…” It’s your ride. Make it a good one. Took me a long time to learn that.
I have always tried to accommodate everyone, even for my birthdays. When I say I’m going to be somewhere, I can almost always be counted on to do just that. I pride myself on it. But not everyone shares the same priorities in life. What is important to you may be trivial to another.
One of the keys to happiness is learning to accept reality. It’s pretty important in love and relationships too. If I don’t accept my friends, my family, my significant other as they are, and for who they are, then it’s hard to be happy with them. It just ends up as a fix them, or fix me scenario.
This doesn’t mean I have to like everything about someone or even tolerate the things I don’t. I am free to end or modify those relationships as needed. I get to set boundaries and expect others to respect them. I get to say yes and no when I feel like saying yes and no.
I think it all comes down to the old adage, Know Thy Self. I know who I am. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what I can tolerate and what I abhor. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses. And in doing so, I’m also able to recognize these things in others.
One of the things I know is when I’ve done something that displeases another. It was a talent I developed in childhood. My mother had a bit of a mercurial temperament and I never wanted to be the source of any of her upsets. But being a child, you just pissed off adults even when you weren’t trying.
So I became a very conflict adverse person, rarely being able to come at things head on and often sacrificing my wants and needs to keep others happy. It’s probably why I enjoyed and even needed a good amount of time spent alone. No one to satisfy but myself.
But I like people and I like shared experiences. I don’t want to be alone all the time. No matter where you go, there you are and my people pleasing habit was always close by.
After much introspection, I know that the way that I am is the way that I am. It’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s just me. And I like me. I wish that everyone liked themselves. Self-loathing is the source of so much misery in this world — for people and the people they inflict their misery upon.
If you do one thing this year to improve your life, I recommend you make it this. Love yourself more and more each day. Whole new worlds will open up for you that you never even knew were available. Someone loves me more than I ever knew was possible. All I have to do is let him.
We all have a light that burns brightly but it’s up to us to stoke the flame.