“You can only do you; you can only do today.”
That is something that I need to remember. (Thanks Fibromy-Awesome.)
I have a tendency sometimes to want to do everything to make someone else happy (or several someone else‘s) regardless of how it affects my life and happiness. I feel guilty every single time I do even the tiniest thing for myself if it means that someone else has to sacrifice so much as a modicum of their own comfort (or anything else). That can be a good thing; putting other people first. But in my case, it’s more debilitating and stressful than anything else.
I try to keep a handle on it but sometimes I still slip. It wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that I get so caught up in pleasing every other person in my immediate universe that I drive myself completely insane & neglect my own needs & those of my family. And not only that, but you can only do so much and there comes a point where no matter how badly you want to do everything, you just can’t. Little by little, things start slipping through the cracks even though you don’t mean for them to and that is when mistakes are made, feelings get hurt and emotions become raw and overwhelming. So all that pleasing you were trying to do just backfires, blows up in your face and makes you the exact opposite of everything you were trying to be. What good is that?
I don’t want to disappoint anyone. Ever. I literally feel sick with guilt when I do. But that’s life and it’s completely impossible to make every single person who crosses your path 100% satisfied at all times. Knowing that should make it easier not to try to please everyone. It should make it easier to say no and/or let it glide like water off a duck’s back when someone expresses a negative emotion directly related to something you did or said. It should make it easier not to care so much what people think. Right?
Knowing something doesn’t make it easier to deal with. Especially if that something you’re trying to deal with has been a part of your personality and character since you can remember. It’s just who I am. Just because I don’t react to things the way someone else would or might want me to doesn’t mean that I’m wrong or unreasonable. Feelings aren’t right or wrong. They just are. (A little shout to mkultra76 – you have to read The Pants Puzzlement…funny stuff.)
I’m done apologizing for mine. I’m done apologizing for who I am just because someone else may not like it or the decisions that I make.
I care what people think (about certain things) even when I don’t want to. I’m sensitive. I’m insecure to an insane degree. I’m emotional. But I’m strong and even if no one else knows it, I do. I’ve been through too much in my life – gotten through too much in my life so far – to let anyone make me feel like I’m not strong enough to handle any situation that comes my way. I’m also smart & witty. I’m good at photography and at the risk of being downright egotistical, I think I’m a great writer. Not the best, by far, but I’ll be damned if I don’t NOT completely suck at it. Or wait….crap. You know what I mean.
Chances are I’ll cry in certain situations because that’s just a natural reaction passed down to me from my mother. Can’t help it when it’s in the genes. When I’m sad, I cry. When I’m mad, I cry. When something really moves me in a good way, I cry. Who cares? That doesn’t mean I’m weak. You might knock me down for a while, but I always get back up. I always keep on going and I’ll try to face the next day with more grace and knowledge than the last.
So from now on, I have a mission. It’ll be a permanent thing that I’ll have to work at every single day. I’ll slip and I’ll have to find a way to use that slip as a another stone with which to build a bridge that I can walk across to a place where I can put myself first without feeling needlessly guilty about it. Though I still care very much what other people think & I will still have this crazy, habitual feeling that I need to make everyone happy, I’m going to try not to cater to it. I’m done caring if something upsets someone else; it’s not my problem anymore. As a matter of fact, it probably never was to begin with. I won’t apologize for being myself anymore. I’m done undervaluing myself and continuously second-guessing my thoughts & feelings. I’m going to quit giving a damn about everyone else for a while and spend some time getting to know ME. I’d love to see what I’m like when I don’t have this tainted feeling that my own value and self-worth are directly related to how many people I can make happy in a given day. Maybe it sounds selfish to you? But I think making ourselves a priority sometimes is a very, very good thing. Not to the point that you become narcissistic, of course, but your own health, sanity and capabilities should be taken into account when you’re making decisions that affect not only you, but other people. If you become overwhelmed, how can you perform your best for someone else? If you’re constantly worried about what everyone else is thinking and feeling, you’re just sabotaging your own success. You need to feel cared for, important and in control to do your best work. That means saying no sometimes. It means accepting that you can’t be everything for everyone and realizing that it’s okay.
You can only do what you can do. You can only do you. You can only do today.