Self Love vs. Pleasing Others

 

At a very young age, I learned to love pleasing others. If the people around me were happy, I would be happy too. After years of unmet expectations and disappointment, I realized that something was wrong with my mindset... I was trying too hard to make other people happy.

I was very close to my mother and adored her— I was her first child. I knew she had it pretty rough. She was having issues with my father and was adjusting to a new environment. She left Beirut to marry my father, 31 years her senior, after meeting him just 2 weeks before their wedding. But how does a 2 year old deal with the burden and sadness of an adult woman? I tried my best. I was constantly trying to find ways to alleviate her pain, which was not easy.

Recently, I found myself falling into similar patterns in my relationships. I tried very hard to accommodate the needs of others and felt responsible for their pain and sadness. I kept trying to tune into others, that I had no idea how to tune into myself. My needs always took a backseat and masked by the needs and desires of those around me.

I realized that although I put a lot of effort into working on myself, I was still holding on to a lot fear— a fear of abandonment. I was afraid that if I took care of myself before others, I would lose them and their love.

I began to address this fear by letting go of the past. I allowed myself to feel strong and capable of loving and taking care of myself. One day, I sat down and did a visual meditation. I was walking down a forest and sat on a ledge by the creek. Next to me was my 7-year old self. I held her hands and said “Don’t worry beautiful child, I promise to love, nurture, and listen to you. I promise to keep you away from danger. I am here for you now and always. I will love you unconditionally. You are enough.”

At the end of the day, I believe that we are all just looking to be nurtured and loved.  

 
Featured, Soul, MindSarah Franco