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4/9/15 11:40 A

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I wanted so badly to be good
by Lori Deschene

I wanted so badly to be good. To do good. To look good. I imagined and hoped that this was the key to feeling good.

I didnít want to be selfishóthat was bad. So I concluded that I needed to be selfless.

I didnít want to crave so much attentionóthat was bad. So I concluded that I needed to be humble.

I didnít want to be or be seen as manipulativeóthat was bad. So I concluded that I needed to prove that I had good intentions.

In retrospect, I can see that these realizations and conclusions sparked my initial interest in the personal development industry six years back, and they informed how I did what I did.

When I was spending most of my time helping people, often sacrificing my needs to do it, I felt I was finally embodying everything I should embody.

I was putting other people first. I wasnít hoisting myself into the spotlight. I was doing the right things for the right reasons.

I was being good. And as a consequence, I imagined, I looked good. And I finally deserved it.

No one in the outside world could possibly reflect back to me the former identity I found so shameful, because I was doing everything in my power to be the opposite of who I used to be.

This isnít to say this was my sole motivation for making the choices I made; but I realize now these subconscious thoughts and beliefs underscored my conscious intentions and decisions.

Over the past couple years especially, as Iíve gone further down the rabbit hole of what it means to be authentic, Iíve realized that things arenít quite so black and white.

Who I was before wasnít bad, and trying to be the exact opposite isnít goodóbut more importantly, I canít be possibly be good to myself if Iím so focused on whatís bad and good.

And I canít be good for other people unless Iím good to myself.

So what have I learned and changed as a result of this realization?

Iíve learned that I donít need to focus first and foremost on serving other peopleóand that I donít want to. Yes, I want to help others. But the question I want to answer first is: ďHow do I enjoy serving others?Ē

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