Last night I was sitting with a group of women friends and one of the women was saying since she was young she felt it her responsibility as the oldest to take care of her mom. She went on to say all the ways she had lived that, for years her mom was on the payroll in her business, long after my friend wanted to she financed her mom while her mom had cancer and then my friend shared her resentment especially since she too had cancer but her mom wasn’t there, and my friend was working and she again resented that she took care of her mom in the way she herself needed caring.
Then this morning I got an email titled “Are You a Good Girl”? I got to thinking, I just heard that statement? Realizing my friend last night had said “she was the good girl” doing the right thing. I got to thinking at what cost? It also made me think of my earlier years, all the people I tried to please, anticipating what they needed or what would make them happy, in all my being there for others I had lost touch with what made me happy, what I needed, I learned to not need anything because I could manage, but I was so focused on everyone else and their needs, that I was lost, and unhappy.
During health coaching sessions I hear many women saying “l I have to because she, he, they need me”. But isn’t that we have been taught to believe, I now question, is that true? What is really going on behind that statement, they need me? Are we afraid to say no, afraid we don’t have the right to say, don’t have a good enough reason to not do it, afraid it is being selfish and we are bad/wrong to be selfish? Then I think how quickly we all get out of balance doing so many things we don’t want to do perhaps doing for others not allowing others to do for themselves so we teach them to be dependent on us, or worse we teach them we don’t think they are capable so we will do it for them. I am reminded of what someone said to me years ago, as I struggled with the two letter word, “No is a complete sentence”. Really I didn’t owe people an explanation of why… no, I am not obligated to someone else perhaps no is the greatest gift of compassion I can offer. Because it is honest and then we can both figure out what to do from there.
If we are feeling resentful, or irritated, or put out, and we don’t say anything stuffing our feelings, we set ourselves up for eating too much, acting on a sugar craving, retreating a little bit more from others and we over burden ourselves, setting us up for sickness, injuries and diseases.