Two ways of living

As children, we look for acceptance. As we begin to build on our relationships, we spend our lives trying to convince those people we’re worthy contenders, instead of us learning to be who we are. Consequently, we may never know who we are.

We spend our lives worrying that if we’re not accepted, that we’re somehow not worthy. We put pressure on ourselves just so that we will fit in. We spend a lifetime living up to other people’s expectations, instead of living up to our own. We spend our lives living other people’s lives.

That’s how we work at life, but that’s not how life should be. Life should be about having and making our own choices and making sure those choices are right. Life is being around the people we choose and want to be with and who make us happy. Life is finding success and pleasure in the little things and not worrying so much about the big things.

Life is about self-acceptance, doing what we want to do because we can, not because someone tells us we can. Being happy with what we have, without looking to others for validation all the time.

If you can find a way to change the things that hold you back, you will have a life. I know that because as a child this was my life.


16 Apr, 2014

8 thoughts on “Two ways of living

  1. I spent my life when I was young trying to live up to others expectations not my own. I thought I would be popular if I did, but that wasn’t true. I was miserable as a teen because I had no real friends.

    I hooked up with this guy when I was around 17 and stayed with him for 5 years. I endured abuse from him and was treated really badly, but I stayed with him because I didn’t think I could find anyone else. I didn’t think anyone else wanted me or to be my friend.

    I’ve had one true friend that has been my friend since we were in first grade and that’s it, but I still thought I needed to fit in with the other girls. I have finally decided to live my life on my own terms and make my decisions based on what I want.

    I got tired of trying to please others. Sometimes you just can’t please others no matter what you do, so what’s the use in trying?

    1. Thanks Lisa. I’m sorry you had to go through this Lisa, there is never an excuse for abuse.

      Addressing your point, I think some of us will have at some point tried to fit in with others and would have probably also continued to live up to other people’s expectations, just so that we fitted in, but that won’t always guarantee success. In my formative years and going through school my experiences have shown me that.

      I believe if someone is going to take advantage they will take advantage anyway. I think you’re right, we must always live our life on our own terms and base our decisions on what we want for ourselves.

  2. Yes, so very true and it isn’t a very pleasant way to live since you’re always doing things that other people want you to do. My parents were always fighting and putting us in the middle using us as pawns.

    There were rewards for behaving certain ways, but they came at a very high price. We never really had much of a chance to be kids, so it’s no wonder all of us have so many issues which we’ve dealt with in different ways.

    I’ve wasted most of my life trying to make other people happy because of this! I’ve had chances to be happy doing what I wanted to do and let them go, because I was too worried that people wouldn’t approve. I’ve tried to think of myself as a ‘Nice Guy’ and the expression is quite true that nice guys do finish last. People seem to pick up on that desperate need to make others happy and use it to take advantage of you.

    My soul truly aches from shame, guilt and remorse over the things I should have done in my life. My life has never been easy while I’ve watched others skate through life having everything handed to them and not appreciating it at all!

    I know I shouldn’t be so envious but there are times when it infuriates me to no end. I’m just trying to do the right things now for myself and then others, which still feels so very awkward.

    Hopefully before I die I can feel like there was a good reason for me to have existed!

    1. Thanks Randy! Yes seeking approval, not making decisions for ourselves and doing what others want us to do because it’s either easier or we’re afraid they won’t approve.

      I’m not sure it matters how long it takes us to get to this point. The important thing now Randy is that you’re changing certain elements of how things were, to how you want things to be.

      It took me until my early thirties for me to turn things around.

  3. I think we have all acted in the way you describe at various points in our lives. There was a time when I felt it necessary to behave like that, usually at an early stage in new relationships, but thankfully I have learned that people will just have to take me or leave me.

    I’m happy with me!

    1. Yes we have to be happy with ourselves, but believe there has to be a balance in any relationship. There would be no point to being happy with ourselves, if other people weren’t happy with us.

      It’s a shame that some of us feel that we need to look to be accepted by those who should accept us unconditionally.

  4. It seems like we all fall into the trap of wanting to be accepted by our peers. I too have done that to some extent, but then learned how to march to the beat of my own drum.

    Even if it wasn’t the cool thing to do, who knew that now it’s the in thing. Just goes to show that sometimes it’s okay to think outside of the box!

    1. You’re absolutely spot on in what you say in your response. There is nothing more that I need to add. Thanks Maria!

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