This was actually a very hard article for me to write when I first published it, but knowing God gave me a platform, I had to share my struggle knowing that someone else may be dealing with the same thing. Since writing this article I have learned a few more things and would love to share with you.
Slow To Speak & Quick To Listen
I’ve always been the one to ignore my troubles, but that also means that I am often the one who allows my own anger to bubble up inside. I’ve always been the silent type (at times), because I do not want to cause friction. In some cases some people have even thought of me as a complete B&*$@ because I don’t often chime into the conversation. I’m not purposely trying to be rude, I’m trying to save face and keep the peace by remaining quiet. I’ve even been told that I come off as being snobbish. again, I am not purposely trying to be snobbish, I was taught to listen before speaking and I DO actually listen.
When I was young, a grown up in my family used to take a long pause before answering or speaking. It used to drive me crazy as an impatient kid. I hated “the pause” because I knew it would take forever to get an answer and I had no time for that. But, now I appreciate “the pause” as an adult! I know now that the relative I am referring to just wanted to make sure she was saying the right thing and wasn’t speaking out of turn. She wanted to make sure what she was saying to me was from God and not from her own feelings or flesh. I find myself doing the same thing these days.
Being slow to speak and quick to listen is a great trait. But, it can also be interpreted as being weak, meek, mild or down-right rude to society.
It’s Okay To Say The Word NO
I’ve always been the one who doesn’t say much when people hurt my feelings. I have chosen to spare another person’s feelings or avoid conflict for almost my entire life. I’ve always been the one to say yes, even when inside I was screaming the word no.I have always been the one to bottle up my anger and wait for the explosion that would soon follow because of the pent up anger I had. I’ve always been the woman that put other people’s wants and feelings first, even before my own children.
But, you know what?!
Y’all The Struggle Is Real
Pleasing everyone is not possible and it never will be. The only one I want to please is God and that is it!
I know this and I want to do this, but it is SO hard! Am I right?! As a matter of fact, it’s probably the hardest thing I have ever done!
If there is one thing I have learned it is this: you can’t choose to protect other people and their feelings forever. It will eventually suck you dry of all the joy you have and it creates a vicious cycle with those who have become accustomed to expecting the word yes from you all of the time. After prayer, soul seeking and a LOT of trial and error, I do know this: I must do the right thing for my family through God and when others get mad, that is their problem. Right?
Be Confident In Your Convictions
I am confident in my convictions, my walk with God, the mother I am, but I am not confident when others tear me down. I am a being that yearns for love, and if we are honest with ourselves, we all want and need to be loved!
For me, this need for love and acceptance had lead to anxiety and depression at times and that was a miserable place to be. Instead of leaning on God full throttle I leaned on my own emotions and, as always, my emotions got the best of me. My husband would remind me every single day, “do not lean on your emotions, Mandi. Lean on God.” Easier said than done for a people pleaser. So, I didn’t lean on The Almighty and I found myself in a black hole. A hole that was dark and lonely. I was willing to do anything to keep the peace and my emotions inward. I would pray that I would keep the peace even at the expense of my own sanity.
The Vicious Cycle
I kept thinking that I have a job to do: the job of being a mom, a wife, and all the while holding it all together. And all the while we moms get attacked left and right and the hole grows deeper and deeper. It’s another vicious cycle that occurs from hiding how we truly feel. It’s another cycle I could avoid if I can lean on God’s understanding, but yet… It’s so hard!
You express the way you feel to friends and family, but it feels like no one fully understands. They only see the outside, not the inside. They only see the mom, the wife, the business owner and think, “now she has it all together”, but inside you are thinking “really, do I?” Or they are saying “what a baby! She has the perfect life, with a great husband and kids. She needs to suck it up!” Or they say ”’It could be worse woman, get a grip.” And yeah it could be worse. It really could be!
But to be real, in the end it really isn’t about them and what they think.
When you have little ones that are counting on you and expecting their mom to show up. But some days, the hole is so deep that it gets hard to even get out of the bed. But you know you must get up, so then you try to cover it all up and the vicious cycle of trying to please everyone begins again.
The pleasing has to stop.
The emotions have to stop!
The worry and anxiety has to stop!
The depression has to stop!
What Do We Do?
The only way to stop all of it is by praying! Getting on your knees alone with God and praying. And the praying cannot stop at one breakthrough. It has to keep going until all breakthroughs are met. And mama, they all won’t be met until you get to Heaven, so get used to the praying and seeking, sista! It must continue daily, minute by minute, because I know He can pull me through. He can pull us all through!
I have been on this road to break free from the anxiety, depression and people-pleasing syndrome for a while now. I can say there have been many breakthroughs, but God isn’t finished with me yet. I have at least one more obstacle ahead that I know I need to conquer and it’s a big one. But I have to remind myself that God sometimes brings us more to it so that we will pray through it and learn to lean on Him.
I asked my husband just last night “when will I stop caring about pleasing others?” His response was, ‘you never stop caring, you just learn how to pray through the rejection and lean on God.’ And he is right….
So that is what I am doing and where I am at this very moment. Praying and seeking God for healing and deliverance from the people pleasing, from the deep need for love from those who only take but rarely give. But most of all, I am leaning on Him every step of the way.
Until next time…