Like Sting said in his famous song Englishman in New York in 1987, “It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile, be yourself no matter what they say…”
You can spend your entire life trying to please everyone, trying to adapt to what people expect from you, doing a painful gymnastic to adjust yourself to all situations and try to not upset anyone. You can try over and over again, it will never work.
We want to be loved, to be accepted, to be integrated or even just tolerated. In my career as a Psychotherapist, I saw so many clients acting towards themselves like abusive parents, biting themselves for who they are, for what they did or did not do. They are never good enough, they don’t encourage themselves but just see all what is wrong with who they are.
Do not think for a minute that this is only the privilege of people feeling that they need help from a Shrink. It is the most common comportment. For the majority of us, the inner connection with who we are is pretty neurotic.
The life long lasting process of Personal Development always brings you to question this tricky intimate relationship with yourself. The quality of your life, your relationships, all depend on this deeper relationship with yourself. So many people are desperately trying to find someone in life to tell them that they are lovable, that they are beautiful and intelligent. So many people are trying to find someone to make them believe that they are not so ugly and worthless.
I am describing here the perfect way to create co-dependent relationships: so many fail for that reason. We cannot expect anyone to love us when we can’t accept the reality of who we are. We need to fall in love with ourselves first. We need to forgive ourselves for who we are or should I say who we are not in order to start building a healthy life.
The difference that makes the difference in life is around embracing the reality of who we are as a person exactly the way we are. “What should be” only takes us away from happiness.
I am not saying that it is an easy process. The fact is that the world only mirrors what is happening within yourself. Make your own inner relationship evolve and things will start shifting around. You have all the time of the world to get to this realisation but you will come to it sooner or later. There is only one option towards happiness and it is all about loving yourself.
The first step would be to sit down and start listing all what you are grateful for. What are the aspects of yourself that you value? Why don’t you start asking people around you what they appreciate in you? They can give you lots of clues about your assets and how wonderful you are. If you cannot find positive feedback among your friends and family, it is probably time to re-evaluate who you surround yourself with.
Some people are good at making you feel bad about who you are and keep you in a position which allow them to feel better about themselves. It is all a mirror game where this person is in fact feeling as worthless as they try to make you feel. By accepting this situation, you make it become reality. If you have someone like this in your life, it is time to question the purpose of this relationship: this is toxic and sterile.
“Be yourself, no matter what they say…” This is the starting point of a long and fascinating journey with yourself. The adventure begins where you accept to embrace your who you really are.