I have a good friend who is a big-time people pleaser and I can really relate. I’m tired of caring so much about what other people think of me. Are you one of those that don’t worry much about what other people think? Do you have a “girl power” attitude and are just naturally proud to be you and can say, “I don’t give a crap what people think of me”? I am sometimes doubtful of that persona and wonder if anyone really feels that way, but I imagine some do and I envy that quality. I think back to a couple of guys I knew back in the day that acted like tough cookies with sarcastic responses given left and right, but in reality, they were just as self-conscious as I was. I think we all care to a certain extent, but I’m more on the unhealthy end of the spectrum and I’m ready for a change. Last night at a party, I prayed again, “Help me to just be me” and today I tried to be extra mindful of it, but it is much harder than I’d like. P.S. I overthink things. That might be the problem!
My brain wants everyone to like me. I don’t mean that I desire to win the “most popular” award, but just “approved” by a variety of people. The ultra-trendy gal (and you’ll notice that I lost the chance of describing myself as trendy seeing as I just used the word “gal”)that I occasionally run into, my neighbors, the mail lady, my kid’s teachers and fellow moms at school, even family members…I try to keep up my smile and hope they think I’m “cool” enough, or even more than that, I want them to think I’m kind and friendly enough. It sorta makes me tired.
I’ve said before that I don’t always feel the need to wrap faith into this blog of mine, but it inevitably finds its way there; especially on a topic that has to do with my value. I can go to verses in the bible that serve as reminders of what is most important when it comes to my worth and how I’m ultimately seen: Psalm 139:13-14 says “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” I have been created on purpose and am loved very much. I don’t need constant approval of others, but I also don’t want to be a big grump that doesn’t smile at anyone either. I think it can be a tough balance and may be harder for folks like me (and other friends I know) who tend to lean more on hoping others like us. Another encouraging verse on this matter comes from Zephaniah 3:17, and one of my very favorites: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” He adores us!
Knowing I don’t have to have anyone’s approval can feel like a relief and that’s what I love about verses like the one above; it serves as a sweet reminder to my little heart. But knowing it, and then living it, is hard. However, I also think that if we can practice resting on that truth of being loved so deeply by our Creator and that it is enough, it will only naturally allow us to want to be genuinely kind and friendly to others (not talking every moment of every day here because we are humans living life).
I wear an extremely bright, possibly too-bright, neon shirt to exercise sometimes and it says, “Be the Light” in reference to Matthew 5:14-16 where it says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? I don’t want it to place a burden on ourselves to strive to always be liked, but rather rest in our God-given value and allow Him to work through us to love others and glorify Him.