Every year for the last 12 years, I would start the year with a word. Sometimes it would have an abstract meaning and other times it would be more literal but that word would be the guideline for my year.
This year the word is : FRIENDS.
I am blessed with amazing friends and I am truly thankful, but a recent situation showed me some things about myself that was quite an eye opener.
I offered to do something large for a friend’s family. This thing took lots of my time and huge amounts of my resources. It put me under a lot of pressure in the end. But I did it and did it well. Afterward I was left feeling like there were no appreciation from my friend’s family. Now I could focus on that and be all self righteous and feel like a victim, but that is not what this is about.
This is not about me feeling used, it is about me putting myself in these types of situations. WHY?
So ofcourse, being the psychology student that I am, I started looking in to it. And found some intresting theories. One was that it starts in childhood if you feel rejected, neglected,are abused verbally or physically and a few other things.
Being the single cell in triplets where the other 2 sheared a placenta and developed out of one sell, it left me open for that feeling of rejection from day one. (Have you ever tried to be included in the word of Identical twins?……. It is not easy!) I was basically trying to fit in and be accepted right through my childhood .
I had a good look at my heart and my motivation and realized that part of me are still acting like that child looking for acceptance and to be liked.
As a parent, if you see behaviour in your child that is causing him or her stress, you will step in and help your child to work through it. So here I am, ready for some self parenting. I am working on the feelings of rejection and not being good enough, of trying to be liked . What I am realizing is that I often use my skills and abilities to do that . That I have part of my identity in these skills and abilities.
So, how do I parent myself, You may ask?
- My first step is to change my self talk: I am good enough and don’t need to be a doormat in other for me to feel worthy.
- I am spending time on my own and making a decision to enjoy it.
- I am practicing to say no and to keep quiet instead of offering my services and help.
- Even if I like people, it is not to say that they are friends. This is something I have to remind my inner child of on a regular basis: friends are people who have your best interests at heart as you have theirs.
- I am taking time to listen to how I justify things and am finding that oftentimes I am actually using this justification to get myself into these situations. ( things like, they can’t afford it so I will do it for free. The poor person is in pain, and then I do a few treatments that result in my hands getting inflamed. But I am feeling like a hero or savior afterwards and so I keep doing it).
So for 2019, I am learning about healthy friendships, healthy boundaries and most of all to be a friend to myself first.