Ever come to the realization that there are patterns in your life you never really connected the dots on, until you did? The last couple of days brought me one of those realizations.
While listening to an audiobook, I found myself particularly interested in the content of one chapter. A chapter about being nice, too nice at times, a chapter about sticking up for yourself.
As the author went on with her thoughts and advice it became clear to me that I was the person she was talking about. You see, I don't think this is some unusual territory reserved for me alone, because if you've ever been told or even considered within the confines of your own mind, that you are or have been for most of your life, a "nice girl", read on.
Once it was clear that I fit most of the criteria the author noted, things like caring more about hurting other people's feelings despite the fact that mine just had a freight train run over them or choosing to be quiet so I "don't make waves" vs. making a few ripples, I was compelled to listen on.
This chapter caused me to glace back through my life and although I seem to be pretty forthright here in my own home and lucky for my folks, with them, my track record with everyone else, is pretty poor. Can any of you relate?
Oprah calls it the "need to please." Others just refer to it as "nice girl syndrome." I would like to call it crap and change my lackluster, far from bad-assy ways in this area. We beings operate out to two areas, fear or love. Clearly, I have been afriad to speak up for fear of not being loved.
I believe this goes back to my little girl self in PE class, unable to climb the rope (even the one with knots) possessing a nightmare-sized fear of being hurt by any ball or never doing anything worthy of being picked even one kid above last on any well constructed team. The Captain of said team having no problem showing his diappointment in being "stuck" with the little, completely non-athletic, powderpuff of a kiddo on his league of dodgeball warriors. Dodgeball sucked by the way.
Here is were I belive the genesis of my "just taking it" began. As I mentally rolled though my life, I remember having the same issues in high school, in my dating life, in my extended family life, my work life and on. Yes, the powderpuff from Ardmore Elementary School, lives on people! No doubt about it.
I see changing this area of my life requiring two things, bravery and brains. To know when it's time to make things happen and to have the guts to make it so. The older I get the more I cannot escape my need to live my most authentic life. For instance, it seems my singing in church each week gets a little louder and these days, I have NO problem singing almost entirely alone, especially if I love the song. I don't care if people don't like my voice. I like to sing!
Time to channel that gutsy way of belting out a rockin' church tune into the rest of my life. Time to stop being afraid. Time to give that little girl a push. Time to start loving myself as much as I love other people.
Time for me to stick 'em up.