I am writing this post in response to the blog post titled, Feed The Fire. It was written by Kim Bailey Deal, a fellow writer, whom I met during 2015 October Platform Challenge organized by Robert Lee Brewer of Writer’s Digest.
I liked one of Kim’s word porn quotes because it says, “Last time I checked I wasn’t born to please everyone.”
When we are growing up we are told we have to always be nice to others, listen to others, help others, and serve others. We see our mothers or other females doing the same. If a female doesn’t behave the way a society expect her to then she is frowned upon. So we grow up with this notion of it’s best to please everyone because then it will bring us happiness. We follow what our family or society we live in told us.
When we grow up and enter the real world, get married, get a job and have children, we realize that we have to take responsibility for our own happiness, it’s then things fall apart because sometimes, no matter how hard we work, how much we do things for others we may not get the reward of happiness. Over time the promise of live happily ever after is eluding us. We gradually are disillusioned. Why? Because we followed the directions to the letter but we didn’t get what we expected, i.e., what we were promised. We blame ourselves, and then others. The harsh truth is that our happiness doesn’t depend on others.
It reminds me of a story that I first heard in Iran. Though later I read it in Aesop Fables with a slight variation. The moral of the story is: “Please all, and you will please none.”
When the reality dawns in that we can’t please others then disappointment, anger and other emotions, that don’t serve us, creep in. One day we may think that people who cheated, lied and didn’t care about pleasing everyone are better off.
Most of us, unfortunately, or fortunately, learn this lesson the hard way. Unfortunately: because first we feel sad, disappointed and then angry. At times we may leash out at the world. Because what we had expected didn’t come to us. But we have to realize that expectation is thinking of getting something from another person without telling that person. Expectation is an idea or the story we have in our mind and even if we expressed it the other person can’t still get the visual picture in our head. Hence, they can’t give us the whole story or they may not be capable of delivering us what exactly we want. So we get disappointed, which results in sadness.
Fortunately: because we have discovered the truth that what we had been doing, i.e., following the rules, didn’t work for us. The realization is the first step in change. Change is important for it’s the only constant in our lives. Once we embrace change we always are in a better place.
Self-respect is the change we could aim for. First step in self-respect is setting boundaries. Because when we are busy in pleasing everyone we don’t focus on ourselves. Women are really good at this: First they give, give and give in a relationship. Then they get tired and it triggers unwanted emotions that may not have positive impact on a relationship.
Self-respect helps us with setting up boundaries. When we don’t set boundaries we let others treat us however they want to. And it’s not their fault because we didn’t tell them about ourselves. I am not talking about what we like to eat or other tangible things. Of course this is also important but I am talking about our emotions.
Self-respect and setting up boundaries are the flip side of the disappointment and sadness coin. The choice is your? Oh, another thing about happiness: When we expect others to make us happy we give our power away because no one but ourselves can make us happy.
What have your experiences taught you about disappointments, sadness, self-respect and setting up boundaries? Share your thoughts with me.