DAY 365+35

relative position

I usually valued the place I was taking up in the world based on the opinions of other persons. The positive or negative feedback of those persons (and even the lack of feedback) entailed a message about the love they´re willing to give me, and to be more precise, about the love I deserved

This made me start a maniac dance where I was following others movements,  and my actions were responses to their appreciation (I have written about this many times on this blog) 

I just wanted to achieve their esteem,  but the thermometer that should have measured the love in my life indeed was measuring judgments, praises and criticism. And either if the others were aware of this circumstance or not, this created a vicious circle: they started to be highly demanding... and I couldn´t stop pleasing them because that made me feel that I wasn´t good enough

In other words, the space from where I was making decisions was outside me and this simply was destroying me

When I understood this personal dynamic I started to reflect on it, and my inner work started to be aimed at this issue. I realized what I was doing and I accepted that I had to change my attitude and to struggle to define my behaviors and motivations much more clearly

That was fine, but I didn´t achieve some success till I was not able to invert my starting premises. I stopped blindly believing that I had to please others in order to be loved, and I started to consider the following:

Maybe I don´t have to please others to be loved
Maybe they will be able to love me even when I do things according to my own perspective
Maybe they don´t have to love me because I am doing this or that
Maybe they will only love me if they want to do it
Maybe they would love me regardless of my exhausting efforts (!)
Maybe I can be loved for no reason
Maybe I could love others without expecting their love
Maybe I could stop manipulating them and let them do whatever they want regarding their love for me
Maybe I could change my mind, and start to do things just because I love them
Maybe I could stop making things I don´t want to make because I assume other persons want me to do it and try to know what they really want
Maybe I could stop acting in response to others demands and learn to say NO to what I don´t like...

Maybe I could start to please myself, to undertake projects that make me love myself a bit more, to start to say YES to my own feelings and needs

In the moment I internalized this habit, the decision making automatically changed from outside to inside. This happened quickly and was effective

Now when my inner dialogue leads me to wish to find out what to do to please someone, I start this "inversions". They set me free from my unhealthy tendency and helps me to value the place I am taking up in the world based on my own opinions and feelings... based on a growing sense of dignity

Note: The book Love what is by Byron Katie, has helped  me to develop this process


Jeanne said...

Very profound thoughts and definitely the right direction for growth and satisfaction with who you are!

Introverted Art said...

wow Zena, how many times have I found myself in the same situation... how many times have I not move right ir left exactly because of the approval or disapproval of others.. it is tiresome, exhausting really to move at everyone else's rhythm.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Wonderfully written. You deserve to be loved for just who you are!

Linda said...

Hi Zena,
It's been over a year since I posted a pic on Flickr though I have been in awe of what you post. I have recently (2 months now) separated. I had stayed for such a long time due to what others think. fearing their judgment. being looked at in a disapproving way. many fears. all at the expense of my health, happiness, freedom. and I enabled it. all those years. I finally let go and oh your precious words hit a chord and it resonated all through my being. I love how you put your thoughts in words. I am at peace. I don't care what others think - mostly! One day again I will feel love and receive love - and no expectations! I feel like I am "me" for the first time in a long time. It feels good to connect again. I feel fortunate and grateful for finding your blog.

AKA Linda's Free Spirit

Marcie said...

Such powerful thoughts and words. It's so true that this self-love needs to come from within. Letting go of the need to constantly please others is a life practice! Wonderful and inspiring post!

Loredana Donovan said...

People pleasing comes from a fear of abandonment and can be a co-dependent dynamic. We fear that someone will leave us or love us less. And so we strive for perfection, afraid of making mistakes and being judged. This is not a healthy way to give and receive love. Self-acceptance and self-love are the key to healing. When we truly love unconditionally, it has a ripple effect, and people are naturally drawn to love us back. But love should be reciprocal in order to thrive and grow. We can't go to the opposite extreme of being so self-centered that we block the way to love and being loved. It's give and take in a healthy relationship, friendship, or with family. Sometimes we do need a pat on the back, appreciation, a kind word, a hug. It's what makes us connect and become close. There is a difference between being people pleasing and simply being open to give and receive love with kindness and without manipulation. Those who really love us will never leave us. :)

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