Barefoot by the Sea: Be Who You Are

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Be Who You Are

I may or may not have been on the playground last week when I was approached by someone who asked if I had signed up to make goodies for our upcoming bake sale (I had).  I figured that was good enough, but then I was questioned what I would be baking and if I had also planned to contribute my time and sell at the table (I hadn't).  I felt put on the spot and basically like a looser.  A looser for not going "above and beyond".  Why didn't I do more?  Why didn't I offer to contribute my time?  Why?  Why?  Why?

I may or may not have gone home that evening in a bit of a tizzy.  Feeling like I wasn't doing enough, being enough.  It didn't matter that I had spent two hours earlier helping out in my daughter's classroom or baking snacks for preschool, I just needed to do more.  Then, my hubby (who has a way of, at times being brutally honest) told me to simply stop.  My normal gut reaction would be to question why I should stop and list all the ways I was feeling inferior but then I actually did.  I just stopped.  I quit complaining, I quit worrying.   I just sat down with my daughter and helped her with the last bit of homework she hadn't done on her own.  At the end of the evening, I was where I needed to be, where I should be - for myself and for my family.  

"In effect, the cost of being who you are is that you can't possibly meet everyone's expectations, and so, there will, inevitably, be external conflict to deal with - the friction of being visible.  Still, the cost of not being who you are is that while you are busy pleasing everyone around you, a precious part of you is dying inside; in this case, there will be internal conflict to deal with - the friction of being invisible".  - Mark Nepo

We have to come to realize that it's impossible to please everyone - so why not just be who we are?  Isn't that enough?  

How much time do we spend in our daily lives pleasing others?  I'm not talking about our immediate family but the bigger picture?  Co-workers, neighbors  friends?

3 comments:

  1. Great post! I think trying to please people is such a slippery slope. You try to do all that you can, but they always seem to expect more, which just makes you feel bad. So instead, doing what you are willing and able to do, and not being concerned with the opinion of whether it is enough or not is a great attitude to have! I think sometimes it can be thought of as being selfish, but wouldn't it be better to be thought of as a little selfish and know that you are doing what you can for your family, instead of giving more than you are able and your family getting what is leftover? Good thoughts this morning my friend!

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  2. I totally agree. Very important to remember. I personally do little things for the classroom, but to be honest do not let others put pressure on you. Even if you did nothing, that is totally your choice :)

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  3. I hate that someone made you feel this way. I suspect this person was trying to brag and make herself (or himself) feel better for going what they viewed as above and beyond. I would venture to say that most people who do so many things only do so to show off and look good in the eyes of others. You are already doing so much and can only stretch yourself so thin!

    It should be enough to be who we are. I know people are always expecting and wanting more from us, but sometimes you just have to put your foot down and say no. It is a hard thing to do, but necessary as well!

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