Not so much anymore, but when I was younger, I had an extremely hard time standing up for myself. I let guilt guide my thinking. I never wanted to upset anyone. I would put up with situations I should have never tolerated. Harmony was (and often still is) the name of my game.
I suppose if I was truly happy with myself in those circumstances, it would’ve been fine, but I wasn’t. I felt defeated. It seemed like everyone else’s wants, desires, and agendas were worth more than mine. Inside, I would feel anger rising up – at them for getting their way and at myself for not sticking to my guns.
A hard-learned lesson is this: If you are not honest with yourself and others about who you are and what you want, you are going to miss out on a lot in life. Once in a while, you will upset someone. Occasionally, someone will be less than thrilled with you. Some of you reading this don’t mind this a bit; whereas, others of you are horrified at the thought of someone being angry with you… trust me… I get it.
But, here’s the deal. The more I focused my attention on keeping life harmonious and staying out of people’s way, the less time I spent stepping out and enjoying the gifts God gave to me. There was so much at my fingertips, but I allowed myself to be distracted by my unhealthy need to keep unworthy people happy.
When I was a teenager, my friend’s mom told me that I needed “No” therapy. She even suggested (jovially, of course) that I walk up to random people in Walmart and say, “NO!” Once she gave me a plastic pen holder in the shape of a foot and notepad gift set that read, “Foot Notes. Put Your Foot Down.”
It was a hideous gift, but it drove home a point – and I kept it for several years. ~smile~
My husband has been instrumental in helping me process through the age old question, “What if…?”
What if I upset someone? What if they don’t like me? What if I embarrass myself? What if? What if? What if? As it turns out, the answer to that question is not very scary.
What if that random person doesn’t like you? You can focus more time on the people who do like you.
What if saying no to this person causes tension? Then I guess it will cause some tension, and eventually it will pass. You can’t live your life to please everyone else. It’s not possible and it’s not healthy.
What if I try this new experience and I fail miserably in front of a group of people? Then you pick yourself up, laugh, try again, and/or try something else. (Hint: If you laugh at yourself first and don’t take yourself so seriously, it will be fine!)
What If I Decide Not to Take it Anymore???
Let’s decide not to take it anymore this year – from ourselves or anyone else. Let’s decide to look at each decision prayerfully, seek God’s will and pleasure, and stop living our lives on eggshells. Is living life in the shadows of fear living at all?
When we say, “I’m not going to take it anymore!” are we not really talking to ourselves? Who else has the power to make us stay in our self-inflicted bondage?
My guess is if you and I decide not to take it anymore, we will find our lives opening up. Experiences will come from all sides. We will finally be able to shake off the negative past and live in the optimistic future.
I’ve been my own worst enemy long enough. There are mountains to climb, valleys to explore, and seas to sail. There’s no time left for guilt, fear, or eggshells. ~smile~
Do you need to let go and live? Do you need to yell “I’m not going to take it anymore!!!”?