By Stefanie Miller
I am a very easygoing person and can be very adaptable. If there is a way that I can make someone else's life easier or help them out in any way I will always do so. I would go to the ends of the earth for the people I love and care about. I have spent so much of my life trying to please and help other people. I have had a tendency to conform to what someone's expectation of me is. I have gratefully come to a point in my life where I can no longer do it. In fact, up until this point, I didn't even realize the extent of my co-dependency! The challenges of this past year have weakened my outer shell. I have always been able to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, balancing my responsibilities, challenges, and needs along with assisting everyone who needs or wants me. I would much rather give than receive. It's come to a place where I can no longer spread myself so thin. I am finally acknowledging that I have needs too; I'm making time for myself.
In order for our relationship to be healthy, it is necessary to give and receive equally. Granted we will not always be able to give and receive at the same time, or in the same way, however, the energy exchange needs to be open and fluid to keep a relationship in balance. We need to be genuinely open to receiving and let go of feelings of inadequacy in allowing others to do for us, which is rooted in low self worth and low self esteem, not feeling deserving. When we give without allowing others to reciprocate, and based in the ego's need to control, we are, perhaps unintentionally, feeling powerful and in control of the relationship, and feed our ego by basing our self esteem and self worth on how much we give and how much we are needed or appreciated. In this way we are feeding our ego by basing our worth on the validation we receive from others rather than on our own self-esteem.
When we are open in our relationships and allow ourselves to receive, we may feel vulnerable. For some, it may be difficult to ask for or accept help. We may feel exposed, weak, and fragile. When letting go of the ego's desire to be in control, it can be hard to release the hold of wanting to appear strong and capable. As we ask for help and show our vulnerable side we are also allowing ourselves to accept the possibility that those we ask for help from may not be able to be there for us. We run the risk of rejection and disappointment from those we want to rely and depend on. Sometimes, the only thing we can do is to take a chance by revealing our vulnerabilities.
I think the hard times we endure, knead us into a softer, more pliable position. The ego's strong hold on us weakens and we become more open and yes, more vulnerable. By not always being so strong, our hard edges become softened, the perfect exterior crumbles, and those who really know us, witness our true, authentic selves. We are truly learning how to be rather than do. It is one of our most profound lessons of this time.
Sometimes those we are in relationship with can't handle seeing our vulnerable side. They are not ready to confront that within themselves, or they don't know how to reach out and help, we needn't judge or hold it against them, but love and accept them with the compassion we want for ourselves. We may find ourselves seeking distance from some of the relationships we are in, due to the dynamics, our needs changing and the desire for some space. When we let go of control in relationships and tend to our own needs and feelings, we don't have time to take care of other people and their needs and feelings, we leave it in their capable hands to take care of themselves.
We can be in relationship with others without having to compromise ourselves. To our own heart be true. Sometimes we may let someone down, disappoint them, but when we are doing it for the right reasons, it only empowers us, the relationship and the process of healing and growth. When we do things because we are people pleasing and not wanting to disappoint them, then we may be sacrificing our own needs. It has come to a pivotal point where we can no longer tolerate self sacrifice and minimize who we are and what we deserve, value and stand for in order to fix, rescue, or appease another.
We have come to a point in our process where we needn't carry the energy or burden for others. We have had to disconnect from most everyone in order to connect with our own energy, Source, and discover what our needs are. We may be very tired, weak and depleted at this time. We are recognizing our need to take this time to replenish our own wells. By taking time for ourselves we can be in our own energetic space, and tend to what we need to. We can allow ourselves to let go of the task of taking care of everyone and everything else. We can permit ourselves to accept the love and tenderness from others. We can allow ourselves to just be for a change.