Monday, June 17, 2013

"It's Their Problem, Not Yours"

I'm so ecstatic, I had an aha moment.  You see the kids are home for summer and it's been all maintenance, no preventative work! There has been no time for thinking, writing or aha moments.  But I watched just a few moments of actress Diahann Carroll on Oprah's Master Class and I was reminded of a fact.

Oh no, I just lost it...

Wait its back.  Okay- here goes.

Diahann described how on a train ride in DC when she was a young girl, she and her mother had to get up and move 2 cars down because the one they were in, was determined to no longer be integrated.  It blew her away that in the nation's capital, this discrimination would exist.  Her mother told her "it's their problem, not yours."  She went on to say that there was something wrong in their lives that they have decided to interpret it in terms of race.

This just struck a nerve in me.  Her mother was brilliant to tell her that it had nothing to do with her. Most people's actions towards me are about their internal struggles and it's really not about me.   I thought of the struggles I have internalized so deeply worrying about what other people thought and inferred that I was less than  (and this was not to the serious level of blatant racial discrimination)   For the majority of my life thus far,  I have thought so negatively about myself.  I don't feel this way any more but certain thoughts linger and pop up from time to time.  But this sound bite of Diahann Carrol's story reminded me of it.

And then there is this little golden nugget from Pastor Rick Warren: "If you live for the approval of others, you will die by their rejection." 

Hmmm.  Good stuff.

He also said the two biggest reasons people do not fulfill their purpose are envy and people pleasing.  Envy: I must be like you to be happy.  People Pleasing: I must be liked by you to be happy.
If you spend time trying to be like someone or trying to be liked, you will miss God's purpose for your life.

You cannot make other people happy.   They have to do it for themselves.  Just like I cannot wait around for others to make me happy from... Carolyn Golightly. 

This ties in with another aha I did have, I did have one last week via a FB friend!  She suggested a chapter in the Cheryl Richardson book, "The Art of Extreme Self Care."  I have been having a hard time adjusting to the summer schedule and was feeling overwhelmed.  Normally I would have to come up with reasons why I was feeling this way.  I would have to legitimize it.  I knew instinctively I don't have to legitimize it anymore, I just need to take care of myself because I am overwhelmed.  My friend told me about Chapter 3, which is entitled, "Let Me Disappoint You."  I just started giggling because the tune of "Let me entertain you" popped up.  Those around us will be disappointed and that is o-kay.  It is hard for the recovering people pleaser in me yet I truly see the need for boundaries.

I need to take care of myself all the time even before the overwhelming feelings but it has not been natural to do so.  Yet, I am practicing, practicing.  I practiced this morning and it seemed to be no big deal to the other person.  I knew I had to listen to my own intuition and what was best for me.  

(And on a cool note: I saw Diahann Carroll in a live production of "Sunset Boulevard" in Toronto years ago.)

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