For many of my younger years, I was a people-pleaser. It was so important to me to feel accepted and loved by those around me, so I was constantly trying to do the things that would make them happy. Often, I put myself last on the list because I didn't know any better. As time marches on, I feel less and less inclined to bow into that space of martyrdom, because in the end I was never getting what I wanted out of life. The people surrounding me were happy as pie, of course. Bosses, friends and boyfriends always got what they wanted and needed from me, because my need to please bled from me like a leaky pen. I'm not truly sure when I began to turn my life around to suit my own needs first. I'm sure it was probably sometime during the transition from maidenhood to motherhood. Many things change during that time, as most of us know.
Aging is a strange and interesting phenomenon to me. I never worried about getting older before this year, and all of a sudden I've begun to feel as though the rate this body aging at doesn't seem to match the Spirit that drives me onward. I feel so young inside, and I feel so wise and filled with experiences too. I work hard to avoid placing labels on myself, but I admit, those anti-aging face products lure me in with their ads every once in a while ...
With SO many years of experience, I find that now I seek out friends who can support me fully and completely in all of my endeavors. I now look for friends who understand my former years of selflessness - of giving too much to the wrong people - of putting my name last on the to-do list. I look for friends who are inherently Good, whose hearts have been broken (like mine), women who understand the value of giving and receiving in a friendship. I don't have a huge number of friends that I can count my way through when I'm facing a crisis. Rather, I have a short list of very close friends that I can depend on, and who I will love for my entire life. I can sense when they are going through difficulties, and when they need space, and when they need me there as the friend who can be confided in. I don't put everyone else ahead of myself, but make myself available when they need me. I feel it is my responsibility to be loyal and loving.
These days I find myself in a place where I don't need to people-please in the same way I felt I needed to in my 20's. I do still like to please, of course, but it is in a positive, healthy way, so that both sides of my relationships can flourish.