Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Living for Me

I have always worried a lot about what other people think of me or what I am doing.  I have always tried very hard to make other people happy.  Sometimes-oftentimes-trying to do what I thought they wanted and putting my own needs and desires aside.

Since the beginning of our relationship, Jason has encouraged me not to worry so much about what everyone else thought, but to do what I wanted.  He has even told me not to worry so much about making him happy and told me that he would be happy knowing that I am making myself happy.  Did I mention how much I love this man?

Jason has always told me that it was so much healthier to listen to your own body, your own needs and desires and wants and opinions and not to worry about everyone else.  Don't get me wrong, Jason worries very much about our family; he is very generous and an excellent dad and husband.  But there are people whose feelings I worried about, whose approval I craved and this brought problems into our relationship.    Problems where he would say, "Listen to yourself.  Listen to what this person is doing.  Is this someone who's acceptance you really need?"

As my girls get older, I realize that I don't want them to be like that.  I want them to be true to themselves.  I don't want them to let other people dictate what they think or feel or how they do things.  I want them to learn to listen to themselves and do what is right for them and accept that it may not be right for someone else.

I have come to realize that I need to set the example for the girls.  I can't let people treat me in ways that make me feel bad.  I can't let other people's strong opinions or strong personalities dictate how I do things.  I need to listen to myself.

I have been working on this for the last few months.  It has not been easy.  There are relationships that disintegrated because of it. 

There are times when I get anxious and I realize it is because people whose opinions I do value and trust are maybe not entirely on board.  But Jason gently reminds me that I only need my own approval and that I am someone who makes educated decisions and that I should value my own opinion.  

In the last week, I have shared this blog with my entire family.  I have received positive reactions from surprising places (educators in my family who understand the trends of the educational system and don't believe in this current trend and agree that I can't wait for it to change--the girls may well be in college by then!) and I have received negative reactions.  But Jason gently reminds me that the only reaction that matters is that of he, the girls and I.  We are the ones that will take this venture.  We are the ones that need to be vested in it.  We are the ones that have to make this decision and live with the consequences.