Archive | November, 2015

Double Decadence

23 Nov

Last weekend my friend came over and we had pizza. Like most people, there are a lot of things she dislikes and things she likes and her life choices reflect those preferences. She’s not a fan of meat so she chose a vegetarian pizza. I love meat too much and wanted something meaty. Good thing they do ‘half N half’ so we were able to combine our two choices on one pizza. Next up was choosing the base. We both liked thin crust so that was a no brainer. However, she usually ordered the Double Decadence which I hadn’t tried before. So in trying to accommodate my guest I agreed to the double decadence which is basically extra cheese sandwiched between the two thin crust bases. Even though I’m very particular about cheese I thought it couldn’t be so bad as the whole pizza is covered with cheese and I always like pizza.

After 40 minutes, the pizza arrived; half Vegetarian, half Mighty Meaty and double decadence base. The first bite I took, I tasted cheese. Not like I’ve always tasted, but the type of cheese that when I smell it, I feel sick. My friend finished her half with no complaints but I struggled to finish mine. I was hungry and it was my first and only meal of the day, so I ate. Whilst my friend got everything she wanted from the pizza, I was unwell, unsatisfied and unhappy. Sure I didn’t die eating it, but I didn’t enjoy any of it. I tolerated it because I didn’t want to waste it. On the small scale of things it’s just a pizza. The easy solution would have been for everybody to have their own pizza. My friend’s assertiveness and commitment to her preferences ensured her happiness whereas my compromise led to my displeasure.

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In the bigger scheme of things how many times have we felt that pursuing our personal preferences, although would make US happy and lead us on a path of peace, would also leave us standing alone? How do we balance our happiness, individuality and values with the needs, expectations and happiness of those we care about? Can we really honour them both or does something have to give? Is someone else’s pleasure more important than ours? Can we ever all be happy when we’re created so differently and drawn to different preferences and pursuits? We tend to relate to people because of our similarities. But what happens when we build relationships with people who have greater differences? Are we to always compromise in hope that these supposedly selfless acts deem us a good person? What if our good intentions have bad consequences and don’t achieve the purpose we compromised it for? What if after doing all that, they too aren’t happy? Should we even bother? How do we find middle ground when ones half-way is the others end destination?

 

Resolution

We Need A Resolution!

These are questions I genuinely ask because I repeatedly find myself and others going out of our way to make others happy. On face value, it appears to cost nothing but more times than not it deprives us of our own happiness and fulfilment and leaves us frustrated and disregarded. Why is that when being ‘selfless and considerate’ is believed to be a noble trait? We have developed a false sense of responsibility to the point where our daily actions are often motivated by obtaining the approval of others. We are afraid the decisions and paths we choose take us away from the direction of togetherness where we lose friends or disappoint family and being driven by this fear denies us the freedom that comes with living life on your own terms. So we put our desires and wants to the wayside in order to fulfil those of parents, friends and peers.

Too many times I doubted myself so I used the ‘advice’ of others to make decisions for me. Seeking counsel proves useful where you lack experience or understanding but I wasn’t using it to gain wisdom. It was to avoid taking responsibility for my actions and ultimately the consequences. As a result, I became a slave to their input; I settled for a degree I didn’t really like. I said yes when it was inconvenient or impractical or when I wanted to say NO. I made decisions I knew went against everything I am and I limited how far into the world I branched out. I tried so hard to fit the mould of what was expected of me. I assumed because they knew better, they knew what was best for me. They were satisfied once I complied and conformed to their way of thinking regardless of the fact that I knew circumstances are relative and one size does not fit all.

shoe-pinch

As the saying goes…

 

If we are empty with low self-esteem, we try to get filled up by making others happy and dodge their displeasure because we crave their love, approval and acceptance. We don’t want to be perceived as being difficult, stubborn or radical so it starts off with small things and then we bend over backwards to the extent we become ‘people pleasers’ and place our well-being in the hands of others for them to crumple like a piece of paper. No matter what we do for others we can never really be happy under those circumstances. But when wanting to make others happy comes from a place of love and compassion, there’s no pressure or expectation. Because we are happy in ourselves, we extend that happiness to others. If disregarding your feelings in favour of the feelings of others doesn’t make you miserable, then by all means proceed. I’m all for helping people and looking out for their interests too but there has to be a balance; you CANNOT sacrifice your happiness and completely neglect to take care of you because that is not an act of love, but an indication that you have forgotten your worth!!!

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Over time it’s been a struggle to regain my independence but I realised if I want to be happy, I have to let go of the need to put everyone’s needs first. I have to learn to stick up for myself and accept my unconventional ways of thinking and feeling and be free and at peace with the choices I make even if it means standing alone. The truth of the matter is we make choices that people don’t understand or agree with but why should a decision you make about your own life upset someone else? Providing it’s not intended to hurt, done out of spite or recklessness they will get over it, eventually. We are not responsible for their happiness and neither should we put the key to our happiness in someone else’s pocket. If you’re not happy, it’s because YOU chose to be unhappy. Not your parents, or your job, not your spouse, partner or your friends. You are the maker or breaker of your destiny so stand up for what’s right for you and your life, and stop standing for what’s right for everyone else.

not selfish

It’s not about self-indulgence but self-care

  

Make a decision that you will live in freedom.

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness

Ms Tola xx

 

 

 

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