Thursday, June 11, 2009

For My Sake

At some point in my life, I'm not exactly sure when, I stopped living for me. Not completely but a good portion of me surely did. Without knowing it, I became a people pleaser. A kind of 'Yes' man to anybody looking for something, whether it was money they wanted, a job done or a ride somewhere. Whatever, I just became an old reliable and that, was where the separation of me began. Something inside of me was looking for acceptance and wanting people to like me and it appeared that they liked me if I gave them what they were looking for. Regardless of how trivial. The same went with relationships. To me, happiness appeared when I was making the other person happy, or so it seemed. If I felt disappointed for some reason or another, I just pushed those feelings inside. I was going to say aside, but that wouldn't have been right. Inside, was indeed, more appropriate.

In some instances, such as birthdays, Christmas, Valentines or anniversary's, I went a tad overboard in trying to be a pleaser. Because I thought that if I gave more, I would be loved or liked more. For me, it was all about the reaction I would get. The instantaneous moment of joy upon the reveal. And of course, always trying to outdo myself the next time around. But I guess I was missing the point of what was happening and couldn't see the forest for the trees. It's just that now, I look back on certain events of my life and I see a lot of emptiness. Memories yes, for sure. But a lot more emptiness. Sometimes I punish myself with these memories and other times I am grateful for them. For in each remembrance, I am reminded that at least, I had those moments.

As the days peel away from the calendar and I approach that next milestone birthday, I sit back and take stock of the past almost 50 years. Like everybody, I have had my trials and tribulations and I have survived. But now, I no longer want to just survive. I want to be able to enjoy what the future has to offer me. But I want to be prepared for it. In the past 4 months I have become fully conscious of a lot of my own character defects and want to deal with them in an appropriate fashion. But, I also want to work on those things that have caused me to put myself second or third or last. I'm trying to be careful in a lot of ways. Being slow and deliberate. A lot of this writing has benefited me greater than I could have imagined. It forces me to confront things that I took as ordinary and normal. I have realized that there was nothing normal about it.

And finally, I have done a lot of reading. And I don,t just read for the sake of reading. Maybe I over think what it is I am reading sometimes but only because I want to give the author the respect deserved for the courage it took to share some of their journey with us. I have seen people become fearless in dealing with things that have scarred their hearts. When you see their words in print, that is all we see. The words. We can only imagine the journey they went on to get through to the essence of their pain. And yes, some of us can identify with those journeys but we each have that little bit of uniqueness that makes our stories exactly that, our stories. And their courage gave me the courage to reach within and deal honestly with the excess baggage I have carried. You see, I am doing this for me. So that I can continue to have days that I can laugh at myself and take care of me.


Michelle said...


Lisa said...

a beautiful honest post that could be so true for all of us- we need to live through the people pleasing to get to the self love- its part of the pact.
as for defects of self,recognition is the key and you have had it handed to you obviously.
thanks for sharing xx

Natalie said...

I like the bit where you said you recognised the courage that went into people sharing their journey. That speaks mountains to me.
You are a good man.

AND you didn't people please me into saying so.

Anonymous said...

You, my friend, are not only insightful, you are quite brilliant! I admire very much the fact that you can take a look inside, acknowledge what you find there, and then openly disucss it and try to change the bits that are changeagle. THAT is courage Bogey! Something I think that you have oodles of! Keep going in that direction.
And Happy early Birthday!

smiles4u said...

Wow! I love your honesty. This is my first day back on the computor in many days(or I should say and yours is the first post I read. My absence has been due to much of what you have written here. While I wish I could have had opportunitys to write about this journey over the past month, it was not possible.

Like you, I have been unpacking my excess baggage and getting rid of it, one step at a time. Like you, I lean towards being the people pleaser and have worked for a long time at not being one. Let's just say I am still working on this Like you, I am coming to realize on this journey of mine, that many of the things that I thought were just normal and ordinary, are not. Facing these things is not easy and it is exhausting to say the least. But, like you, I don't want to keep carrying these things with me on this journey of life. I am not too far behind you in years, and I want to live my remaining life, free of those things I don't need to hang onto.

Thank you for sharing your courage with me today. Courage is my word for this year and you have given me much encouragement in reading this today.

PS Thank you from the bottom of my heart for checking up on me recently!!!!

Lori ann said...

...Nodding head up and down...yes, yes, yes.
And this to me is the BEST part about growing older. There was a kind of self acceptance, self love that began to dawn on me after age 40. And after 50, I still like to please people, but it's different now. I know what I need to be happy. I pay attention to me now. I'm my own best friend, and treat me with gentle loving kindness, it's how I like to be treated.
I think it has to do with life is too short to not cherish every bit,not beating ourselves and letting the past go...

I hope you will listen to your friends here Bogey, they are telling the truth!

Happy Birthday (you get the whole month, my M.I.L. says!)

lakeviewer said...

Happy birthday, young man. It helps to be honest with yourself, doing the things you need to do. We do change for the better as we get older if we are open to change.

Anonymous said...

Don't know where my original comment went so I hope this doesn't double post.

You write beauty. I admire your way with words and your honesty resonates through me today. I wish you every bit of goodness this next year as you go about this aging wiser process. Life is that journey and some of us are on it together!

Keep writing. I find truth here and enjoy the reading of a man who can write from his soul.

Ai Shiang said...

I hate to please people, especially when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder. Wow, you are very generous. always say yes to almost anything? when my colleagues approached my desk I always ignored and asked "what do you want?" I knew if I was too good, they would start dumping work on my desk. :o)

Bogey said...

Thank you Michelle, you pack a lot in a single word. :)

Thank you Lisa for your kind words and thoughts. Always appreciated.

Natalie, I get so much out of reading the words of others. Reading about their journeys gives me courage to put on my walking shoes.

Audrey, your kind words are much appreciated and very humbling.

Hello Lori (Smiles4U), welcome back. I had a feeling that the world caught up with you. You too, humble me with your kindness and words of appreciation for sharing with us your journey. I'm sure, at some point, you will have the opportunity to recapture all that has surrounded you.

Thank you so much Lori Ann, again for all of your kind words and thoughts. I too, am learning how to separate the people pleasing into something more personal and rewarding. (Don't give yourself whiplash)

Rosaria (Lakeviewer) I always appreciate your kind words of wisdom. I am recognizing that it is time to shed a lot of the baggage in order to move on to the next phase of my life.

Hello again Queen, your words of praise resonate within me and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. I am trying hard to reconnect permanently with the inner me.

Hello Ai Shiang, people pleasing can be difficult if you become a door mat and lose control of yourself. It appears as though you have that under control. I trust your colleagues can understand that.