Have you ever tried to please everyone in your life and then, all of a sudden, you realize you’re the one that’s miserable? Why do we do that? Why is acceptance so important that we’re willing to give up our dreams or try to change who we are? I’ve been pondering these questions as of late…
I think we all have an innate need to be loved, but we also need to feel that people like us, respect us and desire to be with us. This urge can become so strong that we sacrifice who we are in order to please those around us. We give up everything we believe in, in order to keep the peace.
Loving someone often means you sacrifice for them and they, for you. This is called relational balance. It’s a mutual giving and taking. It is based on a level of respect for one another. Loving someone means that their concerns become your concerns, that their heart means as much to you or even more to you than your heart, that their dreams and aspirations become your goals as well. It means you don’t idly stand by and watch them pursue something dangerous, because you love them too much to see them hurting. Love can be wonderfully easy at times and it can be devastatingly tough.
There are some people, however, who are one-sided. They expect you to sacrifice everything for them and give nothing in return. They are the ones who proudly boast, “This is who I am; you can accept me or get out.” They are unwilling to share in a balanced relationship; thus, if you desire a relationship at all you end up being the one to change in order to keep things harmonious or peaceful for them. These relationships are hollow and empty. They are but a shell of what once was and the dwindling hope of what could be.
If one person cares only about themselves, then how can a relationship exist? They force the other person to change, to keep quiet, to live a shallow lie so that they can continue doing what they’re doing and pretending that it isn’t hurting anyone else. It’s like a drug addict that refuses to get help and kicks from their life anyone who tries to intervene. If everyone around the drug addict sits down and shuts up and merely watches them spiral deeper into the abyss, taking everyone close down too… is that love?
Or is love standing up, even though it’s tough, and saying, “You’re hurting everyone with your selfishness. Open your eyes.”
Sssshhh. Quiet. We don’t want to upset the addict. We don’t want them to become angry and distant. We want peace. Are they not already distant? Is a hollow, empty lie worth the façade of peace?
Let me pose another question: If, in order to be accepted, you must kick from your life everyone who is not exactly like you; are you really being accepted?
I ponder these things… ~