We all have things we would like to change about ourselves; some of them may deal with our appearance while others our personality. Of course, I have things I would like to change about myself physically, like being a little taller with a slimmer body, straighter teeth, and fuller hair. However, those things do not dictate my daily actions and who I am as a person. It’s the stuff on the inside that bothers me most. I feel the constant need to please people, not so much strangers, but the people I interact with on a daily basis and my friends and family. No one wants to be a disappointment but this runs even deeper.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when this started but it began sometime in my late teenage years. I think this trait stems from my love language, words of aspiration, and as I grew in a deeper understanding of what love looks and feels like to me, the more I craved it and the more I desired to do the actions that reciprocated in that “love.” It started off with small, trivial things and then it progressed into bigger decisions. If I was with friends who told me a certain color reminded them of me, that color became my new favorite color. I would only order food that I thought they would approve of. I would always get water if they ordered water. I went back to my natural hair color after spending hours and tons of money getting it lightened. I put off moving after high school. I didn’t take risks. I didn’t say no. I just did what others thought was best for me. I stopped living my life for myself. I basically began mirroring the words they said about me and putting them into action; I had completely become a slave to others and their opinions.
However, I had decided enough was enough. I was tired of the pressure, tired of the stress, and tired of not being happy and living a life I wanted. So, I did something about it. I applied for my dream job without telling anybody before I started the process. I made this decision 100% on my own and let me tell you, it was AWESOME. I’m still in the application process and waiting to hear back on whether I made it to the interview or not, so there is a chance I may not even get the job, but please do feel free to pray for me! Lord willing, I do, but even if not He is still good. I’ve only told a couple people what the job I applied for actually is. I was apprehensive at first because I didn’t want their opinions to have an influence for the worst over me but I was so surprised. Everybody was incredibly supportive and told me that this job is a perfect match for me, my personality, and the passions I have in life. I WOULD LOVE TO GET THIS JOB!! I was ecstatic and it taught me that I am capable of making my own decisions to please myself and that is what is going to truly please those who honestly care and love me and aren’t just using me.
Brothers and sisters, there is such power and liberation in making decisions for yourself. It’s exhilarating to make a choice for your life without the bondage of trying to please others holding you back. Of course, there is a balance in doing what is right for yourself and not being selfish but you cannot live your life walking on eggshells trying to please everyone around you. Because let’s be honest, you can’t. You will always fall short of man’s expectations. So, if you want to order that soda instead of water like everyone else ordered, order it! If you want to study cooking instead of biology and be the first person in your family to choose your own career path, study it! If you want to cut your hair and stop wearing makeup but worried about what society would think, do it anyway! If you want to travel the world and love on the homeless and broken instead of having that high paying, draining job you hate, then please do it! Don’t live your life based on others because you have to remember it is YOUR life and YOU have to live it. Be true to yourself and what makes you happy. Happy always looks good on you.
Obviously, it’s not an overnight fix (granted I do believe the Lord is able to do so!) but making even small decisions based on what you want and not solely on others will help you to becoming a stronger individual. The load of pleasing that you bear will lighten. You will start to become a truer, more self-loving version of yourself. In major decisions, it’s always good to seek wise counsel but make sure it’s advice from someone you trust and has your best interest in heart.
For myself, I have come a long way and I am still working on it. It’s a daily journey and each passing day I only get stronger. I am having to redefine what love actually looks like to me and make healthier decisions on how I try to receive it. I can’t please everybody but that doesn’t mean they don’t still love me. At the end of each day, I can rest on the promises of a God that is upholding me and molding me into the woman He has intended me to be; after all, He is the one we are created to please.
May my soul always delight in Him all the days of my life.