It’s the best piece of spiritual advice I’ve received in the past year. And it keeps coming up, needing to be pondered and, truthfully, acted on.
The fact is, we are each put into this world with our own gifts, talents, and purpose. We are not here to make anyone else happy. Truly. That’s a fact. Not our children, not our spouses, not our parents, our friends or our pastor, not anyone. Each person’s happiness is their own to create.
We really get stuck and caught up in the notion that we need to please others, don’t we? Some of us are tremendous peacemakers and conflict-avoiders (yes, that’d be me). Peacemaking can be a gift, avoiding conflict can be a necessity sometimes, AND at the same time if those things have you hiding in your own crawlspace, you are not doing what you came here to do. And truthfully, when we each utilize our gifts and follow our own path, it is unlikely that we will disappoint anyone. If we do, that’s their problem but more likely, the fear of disappointing others is in our own minds rather than in reality.
Life is about showing up. Sometimes we and those around us will be happy, other times not. As I’ve said elsewhere, I believe we choose joy and we can choose happiness too. We can’t very well create it for others, however. That’s their choice and their responsibility.
Recently a brilliant article came across my Facebook feed: Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed. In it is this gem, the number one regret (you guessed it, it’s about trying to make/keep other people happy):
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
You know what this says to me? Take your own path. Be willing to disappoint people. When it comes to your own truth, your joy, your sense of purpose and what comes from your own heart, you are absolutely unique. You are a gift to the world and what we ask is that you show up.
In what aspects of your life do you need to be more willing to disappoint people? How do you choose to show up in your own life?
For more on this topic and how you can show up kinder to yourself, sign up for my newsletter in the box on the sidebar to the right. As a bonus, you’ll receive my free mini ecourse, Stop Being Mean to Yourself: 4 Commitments to Self-Kindness. Also read the entire blog series from which this post originally comes: 31 Days of Radical Self Care. The Overview post, listing each day’s topic, is here.
And if you would like someone to walk with you as you take this new path, consider working one-on-one with me. Beginning March 1, I will have three open coaching slots. See my Hire Me and Contact Me pages for information and to send me an email. We’ll start you off with a free consultation so please, don’t hesitate to ask.