When was a time I genuinely rebelled? I’ve rebelled against not living up to family’s standards as a teenager. I’ve rebelled against the path that fellow postdoctoral colleagues traveled by leaving my post-doctoral position halfway through when I couldn’t handle the lack of sun, break up, grandfather’s death, father’s rapid decline, and a racist work environment a minute longer. I’ve rebelled this morning by being creative and taking a few moments for deeper, focused writing in this blog with you. Mainly I rebel daily in the way I think and feel.
I connect deeply with a few friends and the rest I’ve noticed I just don’t shape shift and people please like I used to. I miss several close friends that knew a people pleasing version of me and loved how that part of me showed up. I now rebel frequently and often and quietly in my own little ways. When someone hopes I’ll be the same way I always was, always available and always there, I just realize that’s not sustainable for me. I am no longer a shape shifting chameleon lizard. I’m just a regular person with regular sensitivities and I have to take time in between interactions to see how I think and feel about things.
It was never about relationships that called for me to chameleon. Maybe there were a few people that wanted me to please them, but for the most part it was about a cycle I was repeating. This cycle occurred long before I burst at the seams with rebellion in adolescence. Even before I wanted to please my family, I think this thread occurred before I was even born. I believe both my mom coming from a background with siblings who died and siblings with special needs and a father who had to leave school early to support the family I just can’t say all this meeting your needs started with me. That makes me have a greater, deeper sense of compassion when I realize I’m not the only person within my lineage or person in the world in general that sometimes struggles with knowing what they genuinely want and how to say it. Hey, if we really think about it, this has been a very long time coming and I’m doing a pretty decent job of “assertiveness” when you think of me and my family bundles.
So rather than hate on the part of me that people pleases I send her gratitude. When I notice she arises I can send her love and gratitude rather than hate. Sometimes I still get angry with the people pleaser part of me if she jumps in the driver’s seat, but once I notice this I can let her know she’s not alone anymore. I’m here for all parts of me now. It’s not that my people pleaser part died or never comes up or that I shame and push her out or down. It’s simply that when I can spot that the people pleaser part of me is driving, I can send her gratitude. It always works. It always eases this part of me to know she’s not alone and that as a whole I’m here with her and she’s done her best thus far to help us get what we needed.
I send gratitude to your parts too. That’s what I tell the people I work with about their least favorite parts of themselves. If you notice jealousy, people pleasing, or rigidity leading the way for you, I get it and I send that part of you love and gratitude. Perhaps that part of you needed to show up in that way for you to make it in this world as a child. Perhaps that part of you had to people please or stay jealous or be rigid to survive in this weird world. Perhaps that part of you did what they did to get love or attention.
I also understand how frustrating it can feel to have that part try to run things now in adulthood. That’s understandable too. I think with a sustainable source of noticing what comes up for us and loving gratitude we can truly not have this part of us drive the bus. You are so worthy of this noticing what’s there and sending those parts of you gratitude. I’m grateful for those parts of you and I send those parts of you love. That’s all for this week Soft Hearts.