I love this thought I read a few years ago. It has stayed with me because it hit a raw nerve.
For most of my life I have tried to please people. I believed that it was my duty to make sure that everyone’s needs were met. It was a gruelling job. I had to be many different people in order to make so many different people happy. This weighed heavily on me. As much as I wanted to fulfil this role, there were times that I just could not muster up the strength to carry the load.
It was in these times that I feared rejection. I so badly needed to belong.
I felt like an outsider, disconnected and a misfit. I desperately needed to find a spot within a bigger spot where I would feel welcome and that I could call home. What I didn’t know then was that home was inside of me. I was home. I didn’t need to find it, it was already there, I just kept looking past it. In my attempts (valiant attempts) to be all thing to all people I never once thought that I was enough.
Any role I felt I needed to play, I played, from early in my childhood and until a year or so ago. I was all things to all people.
Whatever the requirement was, I delivered, particularly on an emotional level. I was a chameleon in the hope that I would belong. I however had no specific identity, I didn’t really know who I was, because I answered to so many different names. I was drowning in a sea of expectations.
And then I saw this thought and it opened my eyes, wide open.
“It’s not what they call you, but what you answer to, that counts.”
I know that many people aren’t fans of “quotes”, I am a great fan. For me quotes often take an existing concept and make it tangible. They also make it possible to see things from new perspectives.
Right there and then I realised that I was the problem, I was enabling my own sense of disconnection. I was feeding into my own fear. I was the root cause, because I answered to so many different names. Consequently no one, including myself, really knew who I was. Everyone knew me for who they wanted me to be and not for who I was. I had given them permission to take ownership of my identity.
It took a considerable amount of time and therapy for me to find my purpose, find my voice and start allowing myself to be me, warts and all, just me. I took myself back. I would only answer to what was true to me. It was in doing this that I realised that I didn’t need to call anyone else home, I was home. Within myself I found my resting place, a place to call my own.
Sometimes I do revert back to past behaviours and insecurities, but only for a bit, because my home is where I really belong.
“Being all things to all people and being all you can be, are two entirely different concepts!”