stay on your good side

This morning I started reading the book “Brave Love” by Lisa Leonard and oh my goodness it’s going to be one of those books I can’t set down!! (And honestly I’m not much of a reader so that says something about this book.) It’s speaking right to me. I want to share all the tid-bits with certain friends that share my same personality and social traits. If you are the type that tries to please everyone around you and you don’t really know why, this book might be for you too. Here’s a quote that really stood out to me.

“The desire to love and serve others sounds kind and generous–and it is. But the way I practiced loving and serving was less about benevolence and more about control. I wanted to control my environment and other people in order to have peace. I believed if I could make others happy, they would love me. It was my way to earn acceptance and approval. Yet it never worked, at least not in any sustainable way. The only thing that happened when I put my needs and wants up on a high shelf was that I began to lose myself–the person I truly was on the inside.” (found in chapter one)

Oh this has been me all of my life! I don’t know what started it when I was a kid but I do remember at a very young age intentionally taking on the role of mediator, helper and supporter when no one else saw the need. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with me doing this but had I known that I could be this sensitive, caring person without giving up my own needs and wants, things would look different today. Maybe not as much stress and anxiety. Maybe more drive to participate in life. Maybe I’d be a stronger wife, mom and friend. But alas it’s not about the maybes, should-haves and could-haves. Not about changing the past. It’s about finding out who I am on the inside. Identifying my strengths, desires and needs and going for them! I’ve spent so much of my life staying on the good side of life to avoid conflict and disagreement…that it’s time now to learn again what I need and who I am.

Won’t this be surprising to so many of my friends. I think my family knows me well enough to not be so surprised when I start getting involved in life and standing up for my desires and dreams. But friends that only know my surface self–the projected self I’ve only let them see–may be a bit surprised. I will take this as a compliment 🙂 !! After all I remember a time when I was spontaneous, care-free and enthused with life; it’s thrilling to know I can be recognized for who I am on the inside again and not just for what I think people want me to be. I’ve helped so many others find this and now I see I deserve it too. Where are you at? Have you lost site of your dreams and who you are inside?

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