Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that people have judged you incorrectly? Perhaps they haven’t given you the benefit of the doubt and have cast you in an unflattering light. Perhaps they delight in feeling superior to you. Perhaps they harbor unspoken bitterness over the past… and that’s just not who you are anymore. Perhaps they judge you to be insignificant, untalented or all-in-all less than them. Maybe they’ve judged your heart and your motives in a situation and have missed the mark entirely.
It’s incredible the amount of time that we can spend putting our efforts into changing their minds or proving them wrong. Many of us are driven by an unrealized need to get those who judge us the most critically – a friend, an enemy, a family member – to like us, or even to love us. Sometimes this quiet crusade manifests itself through perfectionism; sometimes it manifests itself through people-pleasing.
Think about it.
Speaking for myself, I struggle with both people-pleasing and perfectionism, a deadly combo. Even when I seem the most unique, the most self-expressive and the most free-spirited, I still – in the recesses of my mind – hope that all of those quirks are lovable.
For example, I have this tattoo in mind. It’s super personal and runs a high risk of seeming really lame. Though I love, love, love the concept, I squirm to tell even my friends for fear that they’ll give me this Are You Kidding Me? face. I hate those two seconds of feeling inferior.
So wouldn’t even my silence on that matter be motivated by a hope to be loved and appreciated by the majority, removing the most obvious obstacles to that cause?
Well, I’m thrilled to report that this issue has been blown wide open for me. What was once a quiet struggle was recently shoved front and center. In a matter of one day, the life-sucking need to matter to everybody was revealed for what it is: a parasite to my soul.
And it’s all thanks to a 40 year old squash blossom necklace.
To be continued…