As I thought about this, in between making more "to do" sticky notes and putting on makeup in my bathroom, I began to think about people...my people...the ones in my day to day life...the ones I care the most about. I was thinking about how I organize people into imaginary boxes with labels. I expect different things from different people, and I give of myself in different ways depending on the "box" that people get put in. So I started to review the people closest to me (besides my children) and before I knew it...my totally normal, good, strong, "everything is just fine in the world" kind of mood took a turn and the tears began to fall. Then, they began to flow. I was filled with disappointment and sadness because I realized that a few of the people in the most important boxes...the ones I keep closest to me...don't really fit in those boxes the way I thought they did or the way I want them to and they take much more than they give.
As high maintenance and demanding as I can be at times...I am a giver. My greatest desire in life is to help people and make others happy. It's like the old Girl Scout camping rule...you should always leave your campsite better than you found it. I try to leave people better than I found them. I guess where the problem arises is that not everyone lives like a girl or boy scout and while the "Golden Rule" is what I try to live by...I don't get the same in return very often. My first reaction was to blame the people that have let me down, but you know what they say..."When you point the finger at someone else, there's three pointing back at you!". So, I had to put down the mascara brush that was now useless with tears flowing and take a good, hard look at the unhappy girl staring back at me in the mirror.
After I stop trying to figure out what is wrong with ME, I finally ask myself the question, "WHY?". Why are these people where they are in my life? Why do I do the things I do and give the way I give when I am smart enough to see that there is little or no reciprocation? I think there are 2 reasons. The first is that sometimes it is because I want so desperately for a person to have a certain role in my life or fit into a certain "box". It's like Cinderella's step sisters trying to force their feet into the glass slipper. I try to cram the person where I want them and hope that somehow they will surprise me and fit. I make excuses for them, even though deep down I know the truth. I want people to care about me the way I care about them, but I know that I have no control over other people's feelings.
Life can be such a vicious circle of cause and effect when we do not make the right choices. It's like I need to find the strength to make these changes, but my strength is drained because of the unhappiness that these problems are causing. Change in any form is tough, but some changes are easier for us than others. Everyone has their weaknesses and mine is the people that I care about. I have survived some terrible things in my life that not many people know about. I've conquered major weight loss, and I can always find the strength to workout or begin eating healthier, but it's people...sometimes the seemingly closest to me...that I have a hard time being strong enough to deal with. It's hard for me to set boundaries and deal with the possibility of people walking away from me or getting mad at me. Maybe some of you struggle with the same thing. If so, it's time to make changes. It's time to believe that you are worth being treated with love and respect.