It’s a dilemma. A HUGE dilemma. I love defying expectations and hate doing things just so that so-and-so can be happy / comfortable if those “things” don’t make any sense, but I am in complete shambles if someone doesn’t like me. I mean, it is the WORST if someone doesn’t like me.
So I am very confused.
What does a people pleaser do if they hate doing things just to please people? They freak out. All the time. About everything. And they argue with themselves a lot. I mean, it’s a real mess up in here.
For example: Family coming to visit this weekend was a HUGE meltdown waiting to happen. (Okay, it happened, twice. Or maybe more, but who’s counting.) On one hand, I want to make sure that they have a good time, that all of their expectations and needs are met, they have the food they like, the activities they enjoy, the air temperature they prefer. But on the other hand, why do I have to bend over backwards because they need GREEN apples, not red ones. Butter, soft and unsalted. Hawaiian Punch to drink, because water/lemonade isn’t right. Oh, and that loaf of bread? It looks weird.
I woke up at 4 AM the first night, paranoid over expectations and feelings. The pizza took 55 minutes to get here, did they even WANT pizza anymore? I should have picked different pizza!!! What do we do tomorrow? Will it be too hot? If it is, then what? Oh my gosh, do they hate it here? Do they regret coming? Who cares anyway, I’m doing the best I can and that’s all I can ask. So what if my bread doesn’t look the same as their bread. GET OVER IT. But I want you to be happy, and for what I have to be ENOUGH for you!
I just want to be enough.
BOOM. I just want to be enough, and I hate not being enough. If you aren’t happy with me, or what I have to give you, I feel like I am not enough for you. So I try to make you happy because I NEED YOU TO SAY that who I am, what I am, is enough. That you don’t need a constant smiley face, the perfect response, or the perfect brand of cheese.
And therein lies the dilemma. I hate pleasing people because I just want them to be satisfied, and say, “it’s okay, what you have here is enough.” But I don’t feel like enough, so I want to please them so they’ll say, “wow, what you have here is enough.”
The crazy thing is, this all goes back to something I already know, and I already tell myself over and over. Humans are flawed and damaged. (Hell, I’m flawed and damaged.) I cannot, under any circumstances, seek my sense of approval from other people. THEY will never satisfy my unending need for love and approval.
So why do I keep going back to this? I obviously haven’t learned how to receive my worth from the right place yet.
Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you”. And Paul prayed in Ephesians, “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Filled to the measure. No worry. Sufficient. Yes, I want ALL OF THAT.
I learned an important lesson today, and that is that I haven’t yet learned how to receive my identity and His son/daughter. What a tough lesson to learn, and what a difference it will make when I do! I pray that this sinks in, the God continues to show me how high and deep His love is, that I learn to receive that as the source of who I am, and not the opinions of other people. That I would have the grace and love to extend to those who come against me, and to walk in the freedom of knowing that I am flawed and equally loved.