There are two primary choices in life:
1. To accept conditions as they exist; or
2. Accept the responsibility for changing them!
This holds true in our marriages, our co-parenting responsibilities and most importantly, our personal lives. Learning how to let go, moving on and rising to the occasion of what’s really important is key to being released and truly happy.
For years, I have to admit that I was such the people pleaser that I constantly worried about what people thought about me. I constantly felt I had to conquer all problems that one might ask me to help them with. I had to be the best wife, mom, stepmom and friend that walked the planet earth and I wanted everyone to know it. I wanted to be appreciated and liked by everyone. I wanted to be appreciated and liked by my children all the time. I wanted to be accepted and liked by my stepdaughter and her mother so that they would know that I was committed to my stepdaughter and to my family. I wanted to be the “fixer of all things” for my husband so I would go overboard with my friendship with my husband’s ex wife so that I could “fix” everything and be responsible for his issues that involved his daughter and ex-wife so that our family could work cohesively all the time — or so I thought. Through all of this however, I wasn’t being myself. No matter how much I tried to hide the big elephant in the room, I couldn’t – because the big elephant was ME!
What I was doing was not only unhealthy for me emotionally but also I was putting undue pressure on others in my life to fill the need that they always had to make me happy. As you can see, I have used the word “I” so many times above because “I” was making it all about “me.” Life isn’t always happy. Parenting and co-parenting isn’t always cohesive. Kids and parents aren’t always going to get along, wives and ex-wives aren’t always going to like one another all of the time, dads and step-dads might not always see eye-to-eye. I am not perfect and once I realized I didn’t have to be perfect in order for people to appreciate me, a huge weight and monkey was lifted off of my back. I don’t need approval from anyone but myself! I realized that I am who I am because God made me to be a beautiful, loving, caring, kind and yes, an imperfect individual person. Accepting the fact that I don’t have the responsibility to make everyone happy all of the time, opened the door for my relationships to get better. The realization that my children will be fine if I am not pleasing them all the time, that my husband can ”fix” his own issues, that my stepdaughter will know I love her and that I don’t need everyone’s approval was liberating. The fact that I didn’t have to go overboard with my friendship with my husband’s ex (not to mention the fact that it put her, at times, in an awkward position) just to prove to her that I love and am committed to my stepdaughter and our blended family was essential to my, my husband’s ex-wife and our blended family’s emotional health.
The mere fact that I am no longer worried about what people think about me, how they feel about me or what they say about me, whether they are my friends, my colleagues and even my family was absolutely life changing. With acceptance comes change and it is our own individual responsibility to make ourselves completely happy in our lives. No one person can make us well-rounded and happy if we are not happy first with ourselves.
That being said TMF Readers, my new mantra, love me or hate me….THIS IS WHO I AM!
Peace & Blessings,