I may or may not have been on the playground last week when I was approached by someone who asked if I had signed up to make goodies for our upcoming bake sale (I had). I figured that was good enough, but then I was questioned what I would be baking and if I had also planned to contribute my time and sell at the table (I hadn't). I felt put on the spot and basically like a looser. A looser for not going "above and beyond". Why didn't I do more? Why didn't I offer to contribute my time? Why? Why? Why?
I may or may not have gone home that evening in a bit of a tizzy. Feeling like I wasn't doing enough, being enough. It didn't matter that I had spent two hours earlier helping out in my daughter's classroom or baking snacks for preschool, I just needed to do more. Then, my hubby (who has a way of, at times being brutally honest) told me to simply stop. My normal gut reaction would be to question why I should stop and list all the ways I was feeling inferior but then I actually did. I just stopped. I quit complaining, I quit worrying. I just sat down with my daughter and helped her with the last bit of homework she hadn't done on her own. At the end of the evening, I was where I needed to be, where I should be - for myself and for my family.
"In effect, the cost of being who you are is that you can't possibly meet everyone's expectations, and so, there will, inevitably, be external conflict to deal with - the friction of being visible. Still, the cost of not being who you are is that while you are busy pleasing everyone around you, a precious part of you is dying inside; in this case, there will be internal conflict to deal with - the friction of being invisible". - Mark Nepo
We have to come to realize that it's impossible to please everyone - so why not just be who we are? Isn't that enough?
How much time do we spend in our daily lives pleasing others? I'm not talking about our immediate family but the bigger picture? Co-workers, neighbors friends?