What if your belief that you need to behave in certain ways in order to be liked/loved/accepted is faulty?
What if it was borne out of the highly malfunctioning need for someone else to control you?
But if you go back to your earliest memories, maybe it wasn’t an adult who modeled these behaviors for you. Maybe it was in fact, another barely cognizant child.
A child who was still practicing the world of manipulation – as all baby scientists do.
And if these ideas sprung from another child, onto you as a child… would that make them less weighted?
Perhaps you don’t actually need to behave in certain ways in order to be liked/loved/accepted.
Maybe, just maybe, you are perfectly okay in all of your many ways. Though maybe some of your behaviors are annoying, hurtful, or unkind. Maybe some of them completely lack a semblance of function.
But they do not correlate to you being inadequate. Or unworthy.
And this… is my lesson for the day. As it applies to you, it also applies to me.
Once upon a time, someone I love told me that the only responsibility I had was to be myself.
A daunting task for someone who had zero clue to what that meant exactly, let alone to whom I might actually have been. Was I really only the acting out I did when I was a teenager? Was I literally only the results I got on my annual reviews? Was I the sum of my friendships? The girlfriend to so many failed relationships? The estranged daughter, the hated sister, the vile cousin?
Once upon a time someone I love encouraged me to stop letting other women tell me who I am. He encouraged me to stop giving my power to them, and to stop mourning the loss of the relationship after my self-sacrifice failed to force the connection.
And so I did.
I tried on some hats to see who I was. I took back my power.
And as it turns out, I actually *am* okay, enough, and worthy, regardless of my actions.
Gods it takes a long time to figure that out, though.
Maybe it’s just a story I tell myself to feel less alone… or maybe you also have been trapped in the idea that you must be a certain way in order to have friends.
And if the latter is true, I see you.
Go back to the beginning of that story. See that it wasn’t true that you needed to be a certain way in order to be worthy. See that it was just other little kids trying to make their way in an insane world. Telling you stories that made you hold them in a higher authority, so that you could do their bidding.
The weakness of those little kids doesn’t define you. It shouldn’t have then, and it surely doesn’t now.
And after you process that, I ask you one question:
What will you do with this one wild and precious life?Mary Oliver
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