My list

27 08 2009

My sister forwarded me a list of rules to live by.  They inspired me to make my own list.  So this is my list of things to do to drag my self-esteem up out of the gutter and start being a happier, more cheerful person.  I realize that, to the outside observer, some of these may seem selfish.  Well, it is possible to be out of balance by being unselfish, too.  If you’re addicted to people pleasing, maybe the only thing to do is to declare independence and be people-displeasing for a while.  At least  until I get the hang of being my own person again.

1) Life is too short to spend listening to people who make me feel bad about myself. If I’m going to develop some self esteem, I need to separate (for a time at least) from people that make me feel like a rotten, horrible person. I’ve spent too many years trying to make everyone like me. It’s time to start liking myself.

2) I am ok, I am sane, I am grateful, I am thoughtful, I am loving, and I am in control of myself and my life. I’m going to keep repeating this until I believe it.

3) Once I really start to believe that I am a good person, maybe my mother won’t be able to upset me so much. I’ve got to stop letting her judgement of me make me doubt myself, my motives, or my sanity. I really do love her. I would like to have a relationship with her. I have forgiven her for the past. If I can start believing in myself, maybe we’ll be ok even if she never changes the way she acts towards me.

4) I’m not going looking for any more friends. Sort of like guys. When I was dating, I didn’t go looking for guys, because I much prefer to deal with men who adore me instead of the other way around. I’ve tried too hard to “be a friend” to people, hoping they would be a friend to me. I’m going to try to start just enjoying my life alone, with my husband and kids, and trust that God will bring some good friends into my life. People I don’t have to chase and serve and appease and agree with all the time. Somehow, my dear sister learned how to make women friends better than I did. I’m still learning. Hopefully if I can learn to be satisfied with my life, people will be attracted to me, and even if they aren’t, I’ll still be happy, right?

5) I am going to stop trying to “save” people. I am not a super hero.

6) I am going to take the advice of the stewardess and put my own air mask on first. I cannot be a good wife, mother, sister, friend, or daughter until I start taking care of myself first. I can’t take care of everybody else and then get upset if they don’t appreciate me properly. I don’t need the whole pie, but I do think I need to serve myself a bigger slice.  (Incidentally, I wish my mother could learn this lesson, too.)

7) I am going to stop being afraid that I’m turning into my mom or my grandma. Somehow. And stop being afraid of being alone. Or of failing. Or of having our house broke into by psychotic killer sex fiends. Or that God is going to punish me if I don’t do the right things. Or that Neal will die early and leave me to raise the kids alone with no job skills. Heck, I’m just going to try and stop being afraid in general. Deep breaths.

8) I am going to stop judging myself by how much I weigh. Or how my house looks. Or how my kids behave. Or how much I accomplish. Like my wise sister said, I have to stop making so many comparisons and “flunking” myself in all of them. Life is not graded. I am not going to fail at it, no matter what I do.

9) I am going to stop lying to make other people happy.  I like to be pleasant and keep the peace, but I am letting myself be trampled too often, under the impression that it is the “Christian” thing to do.  I am tired of trying to keep my family and friends happy with me by faking being something other than what I am.  If people don’t like what I think, it’s a free country (for the moment).  They can disagree (politely), leave the room, or even move to Idaho if they want.  I have a right to my opinion, and I have a right not to be yelled at, mocked, or insulted because of it.  If they want to exercise their freedom to say insulting things, maybe I’ll try moving to Idaho.  I hear property is cheap up there.

10) I’m going to post this list on the wall of my room and read it until it sticks.  If you like it, feel free to borrow it, or make your own list.  If you do, send me a link!

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5 responses

27 08 2009
coni andress

I would like to borrow your list and use it myself. These are things I have been working on for years now but you have (as usual) put just the right words together to make sense of it all.
You have got some fantastically unique personality traits.
I was going through a horribly, depleting round of medications about 5 years ago. I was kind of a walking zombie. At the end of a church service one day, you handed me a baby to hold. I don’t think I even knew your name. I didn’t ask to hold your baby, you just plopped him in my arms and smiled at me. I don’t remember much else about that except for feeling like I just made a friend. I wondered why you trusted me to hold your precious baby and I hoped it was because you saw something good in me. I have counted you as a friend since that day. You are on the road to some personal freedom Angela and I am excited for you my friend.

28 08 2009
awilhite

I suppose my babies were always such darling, precious treasures to me that I was under the (often mistaken) impression that everyone who smiled at them wanted to hold them and love them like I did!

You’re a great person, Coni, and very real. When I think about wanting to be a free person, to be my own person, I think, “I want to be like Coni.” Did you know you were one of my role models? A sobering thought, isn’t it. I wonder who is watching me that I may never know about….

27 08 2009
Helen

I will be praying for you. I can relate to a lot of what you said, but number 7 was something I struggled with for a very long time. I had horrible fears. When I was young, I was always fearful of my house being broken into and a serial killer would come in and kill us all. Even as an adult I still struggled with that. When Johnny worked 3rd shift and I had 2 kids I would form a plan of how to get my kids out of the house if something bad happened. God delivered me from that fear. I will pray God will do the same for you.

1 09 2009
Chelsa

I actually got tears in my eyes, your list startled me so. I know you wrote it for yourself, but it was exactly what I needed to read right now. As always, you are the most insightful person I know.

I wish all the things on your list for you, plus everything else you need but didn’t think to ask for.

Also, may Neal live a long, long , long life (and a happy and loving one, too) but you so totally do have job skills! Have you read your own writing? You’re incredibly good.

Chel

25 09 2009
cherie linton

we’re a lot alike. I hope you recover quickly and God heals you completely. Be well.

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