I’m done. I had been saying that repeatedly in my head. Then, as if the Universe felt my pain, this beautiful, poignant essay showed up in my Facebook feed, entitled “She’s Done.”
In the essay, the author, Adrienne Pieroth boldly denounced the unhealthy activities that many women struggle with; self-loathing, guilt, people pleasing, apologizing. You know the run of the mill stuff that equates to use and abuse by our own hands. I printed out the piece so that I can refer back to it at will – daily if necessary.
I can’t think of anything that Adrienne missed. She touched on everything that I struggle with in trying to be liked – no, make that loved. She touched on everything I struggle with in trying to be loved, often by people who seem incapable of the emotion.
As I read the lengthy list of things that no healthy person should endure, I found myself growing embarrassed. Although for many years I have known the importance of living without the baggage that Pieroth detailed, I continue to struggle with protecting myself in a manner that feels comfortable. I continue to worry too much about hurting others with the decisions I make, or having them think badly of me.
A few years ago I met a woman who kept asking for help, but to every suggestion she was given she would respond, “Yah, I already know that.” It became so frustrating to me that I wanted to shake her and say, “Then when are you going to act on it?”
In reading the essay, I realized I was frustrated because that woman was me. When am I going to act on what I know to be true? When am I going to stop trying to teach people who don’t want to learn? When am I going to stop letting people bleed my spirit dry?
Maybe it starts today? Maybe it starts with this reminder to those around me:
When someone shows up for you in any way (through love, generosity, kindness, support), your job is to love and respect them. If you fail at that job, they can and will leave you. It doesn’t matter if they made a vow to you. It doesn’t matter if they signed a contract with you. It doesn’t matter if they are blood. If you don’t honor and support someone’s spirit, it is not only their right to leave you, it is their obligation. Because a wounded, tortured spirit can’t do its loving work in this world. And, sometimes the only way to learn that truth is to suffer the pain of loss.
If you are trying to break free from the struggle of pleasing those who simply can’t be pleased you might want to read these pieces too:
- Hurting Others Sucks
- A Narcissist and an Empath
- This is My House
- 7 Tricks to Stay Calm When Interacting with People You Don’t Like
- Why Highly Sensitive People Attract Narcissists; And How to Disengage
- This is What it Really Means to Have Strong Boundaries
If you have a particular article that you look to for support, please share it.