I recently started a new job and when I came home from work with a sore head and feeling exhausted I knew there was a lesson for me to learn.
Taking some time to reflect I saw that in previous jobs and as a self-employed person I worked hard to be liked and to be the best. I build up a reputation of being caring and competent but the effort involved was exhausting. Now starting again with people who do not know me, I find the energy and stress involved in being a people pleaser is something that I do not want to do anymore and deep down I know it really doesn’t serve anyone.
The image I carefully build everyday is a cover for what I really think about myself in my mind. When I please other and get them to like me or appreciate my work, it is only because I am using them so that I don’t have to look at my miserable self-image. People pleasing constantly requires enormous energy to keep the lid on something I do not want to look at.
You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake… The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore this self does not exist at all…Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Over and over this must be repeated, until it is accepted. It is true. W-93.1:1-2; 5:1-2; 6:1-3
The only way out is to lift the lid on my guilt and belief in sin with the help of forgiveness and be open to a new way of relating.
“A new way of relating”!
But I cannot imagine being without my special relationships where I am always the focus!
I sense a new way of relating does not have me in the centre of the picture: my needs, my job, my family and my time off.
“A new way of relating” I sense is not personal. It is not about me and it is not about pleasing others.
People in a business context understandably want a friendly, efficient, professional service but does that mean they need or want a people pleaser?
Is the purpose of our encounter to satisfy everyone’s specialness?
Is there another purpose or shared interest that is really what the encounter is about?
Am I fed up enough with specialness to see that it doesn’t work now and never really brought me true peace and happiness?
Do I want the other way of relating that involves returning to my mind and looking at the misery I have chosen and then used others to help me avoid the responsibility of making another choice?
Do I have enough humility to admit, by myself I simply do not have a clue how to relate to others except through specialness?
The task seems overwhelming when I relying on my own strength, which means I am asking the ego to try and find another way of keeping my individuality important but without exhaustion and stress.
It’s not overwhelming when I bring my present concerns and anxious striving, to the wisdom that is beyond this world.
It is not overwhelming when I take the hand of Jesus every time I want to please and ask him help me look at the untruth of my own unworthiness.
I desire the freedom that comes with relating to people in every moment without the lies of my ego telling me that I need to be important.
I want to experience the happiness that comes from joining with others out of a true sharing of interests, beyond this world.
I want to be open-minded enough to know what to do or say without thinking that I am the one with the answers to a problem that doesn’t exist.
I want to be at peace when people are not pleased with my efforts because I know adjusting to fit in will never make me happy.
I want to model to myself that I don’t need to strive anxiously to have this world make me feel good because I’m already innocent in my mind.
The greatest service I can do for others is to relate to them from a place of inner healing. If that’s not possible then the greatest service I can do is to ask for help when I want to please others, and use them to keep the cover on my own thoughts of self attack.