Thursday, August 9, 2012
Grief for the people pleaser
I am by nature, a people pleaser.
That's not a bad thing in and of itself. I don't like hurting anyone or being the cause of inconvenience for people. I like to make other people happy because that's what inevitably makes me happy. But when you throw grief into the mix, then it can become a problem.
I've noticed over the course of my grief journey, and especially over the last year, that you can never grieve right. You'll never grieve long enough or short enough or hard enough. You won't say the right things and people will give you too much space and then not enough. You can sacrifice your own happiness, but you will always let someone down.
On top of grief itself, this can be a dangerous mix for the people pleaser. Losing sleep because you're miserable about losing the most important thing in your life and yet worried about what everyone must think about it. You don't want to hurt anyone so you conform to what you think they want, and end up only hurting yourself.
Then, if you dare to find someone new, you have to be prepared to face a lot of judgment and opinions from other people. I discovered that remarriage is the people pleaser's nightmare.
The good news is, grief has also taught me to let go a little bit and not always worry about what everyone else thinks. Age has taught me that as well. I haven't perfected it, but I know that when I follow my heart and not what I think are the desires of others, I tend to feel better about my decisions.
Grief has this funny way (and by funny, I mean torturing and un-called for irony) of re-shaping you into someone new. Not something you could have ever imagined, but something stronger, more durable. Someone a little more content with what you still have left, and little more appreciative of good things that come your way. Someone who knows the value of life.
And when you understand the value of life, you understand that it doesn't matter if what you do makes everyone else happy. It matters that you soak up every moment with the people who support you, value you, challenge you to be better, and love you no matter what you do.