An essential step in the self-growth journey is learning to love yourself regardless of what others want you to be. Do you mold yourself to please others? My beautiful sister has been living the journey of breaking the “please others mold.” Here’s a recent picture of us together (she’s the one on the right).
She’s my “baby” sister and she’s one of the bravest women I know. She just recently admitted to me and to the world that she’s spent most of her life trying to be what other people wanted instead of being true to herself.
Let me show you another picture of her. Here she is more than five years ago in full-on please-other-people mode . . .
Thing is – she and I have very different, yet similar stories. I almost literally died trying to be thin enough to make myself lovable and she layered flesh upon herself to shield herself from her own pain – the pain of trying to be something she was not.
I’m a few years ahead of her when it comes to reclaiming my life from abuse. But she and I have always wanted to be close – even when time and circumstances didn’t allow it. Now, I get the pleasure of watching her grow.
She is learning an essential lesson that comes from the FREE Relationship Rights Checklist that you can pick up right here:
– You have the right to be different than your partner.
Healthy is: to think, feel and do everything in the way that’s most natural for you.
Think about what I said about my own journey to be what someone else thought was lovable to the point of threatening my health.
Think about the image of my sister with the pink hair: trying to hide her unhappiness behind her weight and a funny show.
Think about what you might have done to yourself to try to make yourself acceptable to someone else.
*************IT ALWAYS HURTS!!!!*************
What’s the alternative?
Discovering & loving who you are!
Ask yourself this question. What hurts more:
Bending yourself into shapes that don’t fit you so you can avoid your fear that
someone might not love you as you need them to?
Facing that you may not ever be perfect enough for someone who doesn’t love you as you are and making the critical decision to love yourself?
One of the problems is that we tend to think in this kind of either-or, black-or-white way. But, what if . . .
You take the chance to get to know your unique, true self and you discover that you will get love because you are being true to yourself?
AND – What if you discover that you can be true to yourself and you find that the person you love doesn’t reject you when you bring your real self to light? What if that person loves you more because you love yourself?
Before I sign off, I want you to think about another question: What if you are like me and your tendency is to “make nice” – even when you don’t have to?
I’ve been married to a delightful man for the past five years. We are very different, yet simpatico! And I still sometimes hesitate to speak my mind – especially when we are dealing with conflict and I think my difference of opinion could hurt his feelings.
Hey – I’m a therapist, and I still remind myself sometimes that he loves me because I’m not the same as he is.
It really is healthy to think, feel and do everything in your own, natural way.
Practicing breaking the please-others mold requires awareness of the subtle, internal voices you generally accept as truth because they feel like truth.
Just to recap:
- Self-growth requires breaking the mold of pleasing others first
- Eating disorders can be a sign that you spend too much time in pleasing-others mode
- Understanding your Relationship Rights will move you closer to self-love within relationship
- Self-love attracts more love
Ready to take the next step toward claiming healthy love beyond breaking the pleasing others mold? Discover the 14 Rights of a Loving Relationship and sign up for Tamara’s FREE 30-Day Relationship Rights e-Course by clicking here.
For more of Tamara’s work, please visit www.2btru2you.com. Tamara’s podcast can also be found on iTunes.
© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.