Be A Good Girl
I was raised a good girl, a good, “do what’s expected of you” girl. My alcoholic parents needed a lot of care, as did my siblings, my chronically ill older sister and a sweet little boy, my younger brother. My family taught me that it was my job to hold things together. To clean and wash, to soothe and smooth.
In these circumstances, in 1950’s America, the goal was to be nice, cooperative, not loud or needy. Just quiet and kind. There was no place for anger or fear. Just be good.
Give and Give and Give
The message was not only give, but also, don’t expect anything. Expectations will only hurt you. Learn to give, whether you feel like it or not… that’s your job.
It’s no wonder I have had to fight, all my life, the people-pleaser in me. I wanted desperately to do the right thing. Anything less than perfect and I’d failed, no matter how many hours of pleasing I’d put in.
Give From My Abundance, Not My Essence
When I looked up images for giving from abundance, there were so many messages like this one. Just keep giving, the more you give, the more you’ll have!
For me, this is simply not true. I only have so much to give. There is not an endless supply. When I give from my own place of abundance, I don’t get depleted. I get replenished. When I give too much, when I give from my essence, I quickly become tired, resentful, and prickly.
Learning to say no first, even if only in my mind, before I blurt out … Yes! Sure! takes practice. This may not make sense, but for me, I had to learn when I was giving from abundance… when I would feel filled, and when I was giving from essence… when I would feel empty and angry.
To break the overwhelming force that compels me to give, I needed to find self-respect and the joy of self-reliance.