August 31, 2017

What to Do when we See Things in Ourselves we Don’t Like.

When we see things in ourselves that we don’t like, what we should do is…celebrate!

Yes, you heard me right—celebrate.

There is no point beating ourselves up, moping about, or thinking our lives are hopeless when we see that we are thinking or acting in ways we don’t like.

Instead, when we realize that we are being stubborn, close-minded, too needy, codependent, or we become aware of any other faulty trait in ourselves that we don’t like, this is the moment it starts to change. This is the moment that “problem” will never be the same again.

It is only when our problems are seen that they start to become healing gifts.

It is only when we see what isn’t working for us that we can start to make the changes needed to make things work out better for us.

When we stand in the truth that we are the only ones who can change our reality from one of struggle to one of thriving, then our lives can improve for the better.

This is possible.

But only if we don’t get sucked down into the muck of feeling like everything is impossible.

Okay—yes—of course, it does feel like everything is impossible when we realize that we have been acting in ways that aren’t good for us. It really does feel that way.

It feels like our loneliness is too deep, and our faults too ingrained, and that the world is always going to be against us.

It really does feel this way.

But just because something feels a certain way doesn’t mean it is true.

It is not true that we are never going to change. The opposite is true, in fact. We are changing every moment. Change is the only truth!

When we see these things we don’t like about our lives, and about our own selves we have choices about what we can do about them. We can decide these problems will always be there and pound ourselves with thoughts all day long about how nothing ever works out for us…or we can celebrate.

We can say to ourselves, “Awesome, now I see where I have been subconsciously holding on to pain and, now that I see it, I can make new choices to not be like that anymore.”

Recently, I saw something shocking about myself. It wasn’t shocking to other people—it turns out everyone knew this about me, but I really wasn’t aware.

What I saw about myself is that I am a people pleaser.

I will do anything and everything to make others happy—to reduce their suffering in any way I can.

Truthfully, I never thought of myself as a people pleaser before. I just thought I was a nice person who cares about others. I thought this was a good thing about myself.

And, of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting others to be happy and wanting to help out. But I saw that I am doing this at a destructive level to my own being.

Seeing this reality—that I am a people pleaser—hurt me. I cried. Of course I did. When we see that we have been hurting our own being through our own choices, the realization stings our hearts.

But, I also celebrated.

I mean, at first, I cried and suffered and felt like it would be impossible for this people pleasing part of myself to ever change. I was sure I would be stuck with it forever, and just felt sorry for myself for a day or two.

Then, I started to see that recognizing I was a people pleaser was a good thing. When this new reality didn’t feel so new anymore, I celebrated.

Now that I know that I have been making this choice of pleasing others before pleasing myself, it can change. It might change slowly. And I will probably be awkward and graceless as I stumble through saying “no” to others and “yes” to myself.

And I might—okay, I will for sure—slip back into people pleasing many times. But, ultimately, now that my people pleasing tendency has been seen, it is forefront in my consciousness and my world will turn.

People pleasing is no longer something I do unconsciously, but something I am highly aware of. It is something I am keeping my eye on. I am committed to improving my own life. I want to feel better and thrive, and I know my people pleasing has to weaken if my own needs are going to be fulfilled.

What do we do when we see something we don’t like in ourselves?

We celebrate! We laugh at our own foibles and idiosyncrasies, and see that so much of what we do is silly, and doesn’t need to be taken so seriously.

I love that I care about people so much; there is no need to criticize my own choice to people please. But, I also love myself. And I know that only by changing my own choices will I meet my own self-love goals.

All of this acceptance can be held at the same time. We are dynamic beings and we can hold many realities in our consciousness at once.

We can dislike something in ourselves and want this thing to change, while simultaneously loving every bit of our being and celebrating our weird personalities entirely.

We can do this all.

And when we do, our lives will become rich, interwoven tapestries of love and light that can include all the shades of our unique darkness.


Author: Ruth Lera
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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