I was sent this in a private message by a friend today. With the words “this reminds me of you”.
I was almost (I was at work!) moved to tears. Which doesn’t happen to me often! This person was someone I had only met a few weeks ago and already she not only had that impression of me but I “think” has a better opinion of herself. Because of me. Wow. Just wow.
The words she left me with when we left the retreat were (to the effect of) “when I grow up I want to be just like you”. Now yes that did make me feel incredibly old haha, but also gave me confidence that I am finally pretty much who I want to be. Obviously far from perfect, but content, happy even. And it must show.
Funnily, I thought about what she said for quite a few days after. I could see in her, a lot of how I used to be.
Doing things to please other people thinking it would make me happy. Being judgemental about peoples circumstances. Trying so hard to “fix” everyone because I thought I should. Trying to do everything but in fact achieving very little. I thought I had all the answers. Yet I was only creating more questions.
So what changed? To be honest I don’t really know. Time? Experience? Education? Influence of others? Probably all those things.
What is it that I’m doing now that’s different to what I did then? For starters I realised that only I can make me happy. Yes, doing things for others still feeds my soul but it won’t ever be the sole cause of my happiness. I also started doing less and not feeling guilty about it. I can’t do everything. I’m just one person. And thinking I can only serves to set myself up for failure. As a result I found that what I was doing was being done better. Even catching up with people. I decided that instead of feeling bad that I haven’t seen someone for a while I would make sure that when I did eventually see them I gave it 110%. Doing more with less. Instead of pretending to listen but getting distracted, really listening. Really laughing. Really talking. Knowing that whatever I put effort into was getting the best I could do on that day. (Which is different everyday and that’s ok too.)
I don’t often leave things unsaid. It’s a pet hate of mine. I know that your whole world can change in a second so why wait to tell someone that they look nice? That they have lost weight, have a nice haircut, have done a great job at whatever it is. It takes almost zero time or effort and can make such a big difference to them. It can make them feel like a somebody.
The truth is we are all somebody. All unique and special in our own way. But society the way it is often makes people feel worthless. Unloved. Unimportant.
So while I’m honoured that someone thought of me when they saw this, I want you to know that you are all somebody. And you do need someone to make you feel like that. But that person is you.