I used to think I owed most everyone something. What I wanted, needed, felt? Not as important.
It was my job to take care of coaches’, friends’, boyfriends’ feelings, and not cause any trouble or rock the boat. I needed to anticipate needs, wants, and desires — and be able to take care of them. I needed to make things feel okay, and if things felt uncomfortable, it was my job to smooth things over. This ended up not working out so well.
Have you ever tried? Man, attempting to accomplish this job was heavy, hard, and tiring. Trying to made life an even bigger shit show. It wasn’t pretty.
Slowly, I’ve been learning that it’s not my job to manage the feelings of others or make everything always feel okay. This isn’t to say I don’t think about the feelings of others and take them into consideration. I do think it’s important to consider others’ feelings (we are social creatures sharing this world!). However, coming from a place of “how would I want to be treated” and acting from there (rather than shoulds) feels a whole lot better and works out a whole lot better. Going the other route is a setup for failure and life going to the crapper.
I’ve come a long way and am rather proud of myself. And then I got a big ol’ smack in the face yesterday that sometimes I still fall into this old belief and associated (less than productive) patterns. Not such a fun realization. Haven’t I already learned this?? Ah yes, the messiness of being human.
So, reminding myself today: It’s not my job to manage another’s feelings. It’s not my job to try and control the world. The only person I owe is myself, and my job is to take the best care of and manage myself.