You Do Not Need Permission
it is kind of true what they say about lessons that continue to show up - the lesson stops showing up once the student has learned. i learned this lesson the tough way, it kept showing up until recently, about a year or so ago, i changed my behavior. i have had relationships in my life where my behavior did not meet the expectation of those around me - be it friends, family, lovers, or even co-workers. we have choices when this happens, we can change our behavior, based on the reaction of those around us, so to make them happy, and more important, to gain acceptance, and in turn feel validated OR we can remain consistent with who we are, and ultimately gain self-acceptance and respect from others.
we are not on this planet to seek permission from others. this isn’t about someone being right or someone being wrong either - it is about all of our equal abilities to live the life that we want, without having to seek validation from those around us, but instead, acknowledging the amazing individual that we are.
this can be so hard- so, if you find that you have been in a situation where you are consistently changing your behavior to make those around you that you love and care about do not beat yourself up, just simply notice and begin again.
listen, i am not suggesting we quit doing the little things that make those we love smile (like bringing them coffee, or picking up their favorite candy etc..), what i am suggesting is that you do not change your behavior based on their reaction, do not seek validation and permission - even if you love them. one could even argue that it is even more important that you remain consistent especially dealing with those you love.
you see, the stronger that we can stand in the power of who we are, what makes us happy, what we are passionate about, who we want in our lives, the more able we are to show our loved ones who we are. if you waiver and bend in order to accommodate, then two things happen - you become unclear or sacrifice your happiness, and, no one ever really gets to see YOU in this universe. in addition, if you are altering your behavior based on the situation, and those that are involved, eventually not only is it exhausting for you, but you will break trust.
another thing to consider, if you accommodate and change your behavior for others, so that you can be in their good graces, without intention, potentially, you are also creating misunderstandings, and misleading. instead, if you remain consistent in who you are, and what you want, even when it is hard, even if others are upset, at the very least, you will gain respect.
making myself vulnerable for a moment, i have to tell you, being someone that wants to make others happy, smile, and can feel uncomfortable when people around me are unhappy - especially with me - this lessons crushed me, a few times. i lost myself, every single time, getting caught up in changing and altering who i was to make others happy. i ended up feeling depleted, unhappy, and confused about who i was. instead, now, when faced with this challenge of having to choose between altering my actions to accommodate others happiness, or, stay with the action, along with the intention of the action, i do my very best to not seek permission or validation from another other than myself.
we owe it to each other to show our true selves, and in order to do this, we must seek within our own validation, in lieu of fear of not being validated by others, if you want acceptance and validation, listen within, get clear on who you are, what makes you happy and passionate and motivated, and full of life - use that as your north star, and the compass to get you there is your own acceptance of the amazing person that i know you are.