When was the last time you felt you had to prove something to the people you love? How often you do you feel like you’re never good enough for your mother, father, grandparents, caregivers, or lover…No matter what you do, you never get a “That’s great! I’m so proud of you!” Or maybe they tell you so but it’s only on very special occasions, and it’s presented like, “You know well that we’re proud of you. It’s a given.”
When you feel that you’re not good enough, you often find yourself in isolation, sitting in the dark room abandoned and longing for love from the people you need it from most.
I remember the time when I achieved what I felt was a significant level of my success. I had gotten my voice out in some well-recognised magazines and newspapers, and had collaborated with well-known people. Everyone around me was so excited about my growth that it made me wonder why they were more proud and exhilarated about my achievements than I was. I realised that I was questioning my success and passion. I thought, “I’m not doing as great as some other people in this world. Anyone can have what I have. I still have a long way to go!”
I called my parents to share the news about my victories, and all I got was “Oh, ok. How’s the weather?” I felt devastated. It seemed that my deepest fears were reinforced by the people I love. What else do I need to do to at least deserve “It’s great. So, happy for you!” I got angry, sad, helpless, lonely — the whole garden salad of emotions. Then, I asked myself how I can give somebody so much control over how I feel about my victories, future, and passion.
Anger can be a powerful emotion to breakthrough, if you use it right. – Karolina Tatarenkova
I started to ponder what just happened. I live and breathe emotional fitness, yet it happened to me. Then, I digged deeper and went through a process that I will share with you here because I know that I’m not alone in this boat.
1. Is it really about me?
When you experience pain as a result of interaction with other people, you tend to personalise everything they say or don’t say and take it to heart. I realise that the opinion of those people whose love you have never got and always cherished is precious to you — like water in the desert. But it doesn’t have to be.
Remember, it’s not always about you.
2. Do I focus on what I have or what I’m missing?
The reason certain people don’t give you the love you want might just be that they never got the love they always longed for as well. They might be doing their best. Sometimes their way of controlling you or not giving you words of encouragement might be their way of showing love. Sound fucked up? Because it is.
When you hold on to your history, you do it at the expense of your destiny. -Bishop Jakes
It could be that the message they got about praise and encouragement is that it’s waste of time. Actions speak louder than words. You had probably heard this saying many time before. The actions they chose to show you love is according to their dictionary of how love is expressed, not yours. So, don’t expect them to live life according to your terms.
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