Sitting with coaching clients each week has an advantage I hadn't anticipated, it encourages me to occasionally "drop-in" after appointments and see where I'm at in that area of life.
One subject that feels pretty doggone close to Universal is the subject of pleasing other people. Many of last weeks clients were no exception.
In having discussions around the subject of pleasing others, it caused me to flashback asking myself the question "When did I begin to try to please others so I could fit in?"
I got as far back as elementary school when I remember thinking my Holly Hobby lunchbox and a few years later, my Toni Tennille haircut was sure to garner me favor...yet alas, I was weary taking the "walk of shame" at almost every gym class because I was never "picked", ever. When they ran out of kids, I took that walk to the team that was left. No "Captian" wanted me as I swear I was, without a doubt, the least athletic kiddo at Ardmore Elementary school in the 1970s.
So try as I did, I was reminded often that I didn't just NOT please people, my mere presence displeased them.
Fast-forward into my 20's and 30's and my head hurt just thinking about all the contortions I made in high school to fit in, the ones I made at my first jobs because I wanted people to like me. How hard as a new mother I tried to make my children's birthday parties special, just to be criticized. I could go on and on, but I won't.
Heading into my 40's I finally began to feel the exhausting effects of trying to please people as I was "dancing as fast as I could" yet seemingly failing at just about every turn. I was never "this" enough or "that" enough...I just knew I had enough.
I couldn't keep up so I needed to stop. I remember when and how I began and it was scary at first, liberating at last.
And in the decade since I didn't just cognitively KNOW that trying to please everyone was an insane goal, I now know with every fiber of my being that it's impossible.
It's SO impossible that I don't believe I can please even some of the people some of the time. I promise you, at some point, I will do or say something they don't approve of. Guaranteed!
Today, I do the best I can to do the best I can and if the bonus is that there are a handful of souls in this crazy world that kinda like me some of the time or even love me on occasion, I am blessed.
To those of you feeling overwrought these days, I wonder if some of your dis-ease is tied to other beings and if so, are you contorting to try to please or are you looking for others to potentially please you?
I ask you to step back in either situation and apply a little grace to yourself or the others involved. Release any assumptions you've made about the other soul and remember, that you too are doing the best you can with what you've got in this moment as well.
Judgments are heavy.
My best to all of you who struggle with the impossible task of trying to please others. I have found simply living my own life so I can be at peace is quite enough. 💙