It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
Sydney J. Harris
Sydney J. Harris
A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking. Sometimes that leads to trouble, but in this case it has given me inspiration for this and future blog posts. (Thanks Pam!) She made a comment (and this is not a direct quote because sadly my memory is no longer my best friend!) that it is amazing how people so often live their lives seeking approval from others. So much effort is put into pleasing someone else, that we often fail to do what we really want.
Her words really struck a chord with me. I have invested a lot of time in seeking to make others like me. I mean who doesn't want to be liked, right? Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes not. Sometimes even though others were happy, I was miserable on the inside.
When I agreed with my friend's observation, she commented that I seemed to not "suffer" from this "affliction." She said I seemed to be comfortable with who I am and that I don't seem to let what people think (or might think) of me hold me back from being me. Really? I come across as self-confident Huh. Boy, I sure fooled her! Must be my exemplary acting skills :)
Actually, there is some truth to her observation. I have a "people pleasing gene" of cosmic proportions passed on to me by my dear sweet mama. I like to say I was "marinated in worry" so I didn't stand a chance. However, by the grace of God I am in "recovery." Hours of prayers answered and time spent in self-discovery have gotten me to the place I am today. I am comfortable with who I am (most days anyway). There are days where I slip back into "people pleasing mode" and I pay the price. I get worried. I get self-conscious. I get cranky. I get stuck. It's not a good place to be and it's not a place I stay for long.
What about you? Are you a free spirit? Are you comfortable with the wonderful creature God has made you to be? Or have you let yourself get stuck?
I have a huge collection of quotes I have gathered over the years about this subject. I am always telling my chicklets that it's good to share, and I have decided that would be true here as well. I was thinking that it would make a great blog post series. I've decided to call it "Too True!" Tuesday - Words to Live By. I will be posting a quote I feel is "too true" and if I am feeling motivated I'll write a bit more. Life gets in the way from time to time, but I hope to do this weekly so be sure to check back next Tuesday for more words to live by.