I know, I know…. they were just tiny little white lies. But they piled up over the years, and now it’s too much, so I have to come clean. It’s so embarrassing. I don’t want to be a liar. So… why have I been lying by omission?
Well… for many reasons. I was conditioned to believe that my value came from my selflessness and service to others. I love serving and helping! It truly does bring me so much just and peace. But I took it to an extreme and it got to a point of burnout, because I never wanted to disappoint others, and I never wanted to feel useless. So I lied…. and in turn I was useful and a “kind” person. But the person who suffered in the end was me. I was dishonest about my feelings and pushed myself WAY BEYOND my limits for the sake of others. Way beyond my boundaries allowed. Why? Because I would be okay! I would just nurse myself back to health, RIGHT? Not quite. My health always suffered. I would suffer in silence because of my appearance of strength. You can call it pride! I would carry resentment in my heart when I burned out and no one noticed. Then I wanted to disappear. It’s a never ending pattern and cycle of self-inflicted abuse. Ultimately, no one forced you to do what you did, or give what you gave.
But what if the burden crushes you, Daniela? Why are you people pleasing so much, Daniela?
Now that I look back at it, it is so selfish and self-serving to walk in that level of dishonesty. I used to think it only affected me, and was slapped in the face with the reality of how it can affect everyone.
Lies always have a ripple effect, and trying to keep up with the lies is where the decomposition of the soul begins.
I was dishonest for way too long, covering it up because it came from a place of “kindness.” I could never JUST walk away. “I feel bad.” “They need help.” “They don’t have anyone else.” But regardless of my intention of supporting, I was wrong for walking in dishonesty or assuming those things. I was wrong for not pausing first to evaluate my ability to be present in my decision to commit to something. I owed it to myself to only give within my limitations. We all have limits, and to deny yourself your own limits, is to self destruct.
I read this article on Medium about people pleasers and it was a brutally hard truth to read. It was an article about me, basically!!! It showed me a glimpse of who I can potentially become if I keep this up. So this year, I made a decision that I am going to speak my truths. I know it won’t be easy, and it probably won’t sit well with a lot of people, but it’s just time. I will probably backtrack a few times, before I get it! I’m nervous, and I feel like a little girl all over again — afraid to assert myself and tell people how I feel regardless of what they have to say about it. But what am I so afraid of!?
The truth is: newfound boundaries and limits should pose NO threat to any relationship that is true and genuine. Anyone not willing to respect that, simply doesn’t respect you. You are not asking for a lot. You are asking for respect.
“People who say ‘yes’ to everything don’t excel in a single thing. They are no fun to be around because they are often distracted. (You know that friend of yours who is always responding to emails or text messages while when you’re at lunch together). Because they’re doing so much, they are often unfocused and not fully present for the task or person they are engaged with. They move too quickly, juggle too many things, don’t get enough sleep, and can easily become clumsy, inefficient and unpleasant to be with.”
As I mentioned in my earlier blogs, I was raised in a world full of people pleasing. It was in our nature, embedded into our DNA from the moment we came earth-side. It was a part of life. As the child of a pastor, I was always required to serve with a humble and happy heart. No matter the circumstances, no matter my limits, because someone else had it rougher than us. In church, they called us “siervos de Dios” in Spanish, meaning “servants of God” — and for good reason because we served literally everyone. God would replenish us, after we poured ourselves empty. But no one is superhuman, and God still requires us to take care of ourselves.
I remember how much I disliked the busyness of my dad’s schedule. If I wanted to do something with him, it had to be put into his calendar, and usually it was last in line. He was always too busy. If I wanted to spend time with him, I had to be a part of his church schedule and work-life. I guess that’s where I got it from all these years later.
The reality of his choices eventually became mine too, because I followed in his footsteps and spread myself thin every chance that I got. My home base was just a charging base. It was a last resort, and not my sanctuary. I would only go there when I was completely and utterly EMPTY, neglecting the upkeep of my own home to help others with the upkeep of theirs. I would only stay until my battery was fully charged and ready to be deployed to work again. (For someone else of course.) But after decades of being on this planet, I just cannot do it anymore. I cannot keep up this pattern of disregard for myself. I cannot keep choosing to say “yes!” when deep inside I am screaming “NO.”
I know that these are my choice. I understand the role I have played in this. Even if it was a learned behavior, it’s still my responsibility to change it if it’s not serving me. I admire, respect, honor and love my parents, my upbringing, and all that I have learned. I am truly grateful. But time has shown me that this specific behavior is useless — it was never useful to lie about my limitations.
“Even non-manipulators can feel inclined to take advantage of the people pleaser’s generosity, because the people pleaser inadvertently encourages it by being too eager to ‘be of service’.” I was so easily swayed to do for others because of my old programming, my compassion and my old need to be of service and needed. I was too eager. It’s been a theme in my life. I was always this way with my friends, my family, my job. But that same codependency led to a deep depression because of how unfulfilling it really is at its core. Always looking to be there for everyone, looking out for everyone except myself. That betrayal has been so hard to forgive at times.
“People pleasers never find out what makes their heart sing.”
My biggest fear in this life is dying without ever utilizing my beautiful and preciously unique gifts. I almost lived out this fear. I am so talented, but I will be letting it all go to waste by people pleasing my way through life. I ran from my gifts all because of my fears and my old conditioning. But that all ended when I decided to start this blog. This is the most open I have ever been in my life with a whole bunch of strangers. It just feels like it’s time.
I’ll end this with one more quote from that article, to sum up this super long winded blog post.
“People pleasers miss out on the chance to discover who they are meant to be. In all their ‘trying to be’, they deprive the world of the most precious aspect of themselves — their unique, free spirit, which knows that life’s sacred purpose is to manifest the noble desires of one’s own heart, so the world can partake of new and joyful fruit. So don’t squander it trying to avoid a rotten tomato, or for bravos and encores.”
All quotes are from “Stepping On Stage: The ugly truth about people pleasing” written by Michele K. Morollo
Love eternally, Daniposa 💛🦋