I was having a great conversation this morning with my personal business coach, James Budd, when he made me laugh out loud at something he said. I was talking with him about my own struggles with trying to always be the “good guy,” or do the “right thing” and how it really hasn’t done much to enhance my life except to create more of a well inside of me to feel that in order to keep or hold onto or sustain things, I always have to maintain that persona in order to be loved or chosen. And here is what he said…
“Blythe, you know the one thing all Saints have in common? They are DEAD!”
After we shared a solid laugh together; something we do regularly (and note, I’m a huge believer that therapy and coaching and all relationships require laughter from time-to-time), I joked even further that the irony in all of this was that three days prior to the conversation I had gone out and purchased a bunch of SAINT candles for my home. Now THAT is a timely intervention!
The reason I share this personal story, and in fact, the reason I ever share a personal story in the realm of my work with others is to the extent to which I think it might benefit them. And I not only believe, but I KNOW, that I’m far from the only person walking the planet who feels that if “we” are just good enough, just perfect enough, then there won’t be hurt or loss or people who just don’t love us back. Those things hurt me to even type out. But unless we speak the truth, we are, truly, just not ever free.
If you are a person who feels, even very subtly, that you might be attempting to garner Saintdom in your very brief life here on this planet, here are a few questions to ask yourself BEFORE you say yes to something, or even do something without your own, TRUE personal consent.
1. How much of my day is spent listening to, looking out for, reaching out to and validating others (if this is your job or you are a parent those two things don’t actually count)?
2. How many of the people in my life actually show me they care about me regardless of my flaws? Who reaches out to me just because, not only when they need something or want my opinion or free advice?
3. How many things do I say yes to that my gut is telling me to say no to, because I’m afraid that saying no makes me a bad person?
4. How has “always giving” really enhanced my life in the long run? Can I list ten ways always giving has made me happy, joyous and free?
5. What is the difference between being of service as a function of caring for your fellow neighbor or friend and bleeding yourself dry to the detriment of your own desires?
6. How many of my “achievements” are rooted in sincerity and an authentic connection to my deepest desires, wants and needs? How many are rooted in seeking validation or finally getting my “parents” to love me?
7. When I was asked to do something, what did my gut say…did I listen to my gut, or did I listen to that voice inside of me that said you HAVE to say yes or who else will?
8. And finally, and perhaps MOST importantly…WHAT AMAZING, REMARKABLE, LIFE-GIVING PEOPLE, RELATIONSHIPS AND JOY am I missing out on while trying to please others that don’t necessarily care whether not they please me?
This is a short list from which to start, but an important one, I think. I am a person who has done deep self-work for decades, who has learned the art of clear boundaries, taking responsibility for my choices and saying no – and STILL, I notice this challenge creeping in on me in nuanced and unexpected ways. For many of us, this path is a life journey. So it isn’t to do it perfectly, because even trying to stop being perfect perfectly is just another SURE FIRE way to land yourself even closer to total exhaustion and being six feet under with all of the other canonized Saints.
You are good enough. Your life matters. You can say no and still be loved. You can take space and let the person come back to YOU. You can remember that even in your desire to be perfect, there is still an innocence and a goodness that is beckoning for connection, truth, understanding and total freedom. This is your life. You still have time.
If you are seeking help on how to have a better relationship with yourself and how to choose yourself first, contact me and refer to this blog.
If you are seeking professional business coaching, please go to www.visionfirecoaching.com and for a free session, refer to this blog.