Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead

Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

First, let me say that it is not difficult to get me fired up about something, especially if I’m passionate about it. Here’s an example. Once, when my brand-new hand mixer broke after 2 uses, I went on a tirade about how my parents have had the same hand mixers since I was old enough to know what they were, and they’ve never had an issue, and how things aren’t made the way they used to be. Yep. I did.

Sometimes I’d get caught up before I had a chance to realize what I was doing, and then profusely apologize. It’s not in my nature to upset the apple cart, as they say. Often, I’d rather just be quiet and let everyone get along rather than speak my truth. The older I’ve gotten and the longer I’ve been sober, the more I recognize that fear has a way of dominating my life. When I am in fear, I make decisions that compromise my core values because I’m unwilling to deal with the potential unknown outcome.

Why? I honestly have no idea.

There are few things in this life that could happen that would rock me. I have walked through a lot of ugly things, sometimes gracefully, and other times not so much. But I have always come out on the other side in one piece. Sometimes a little beat up, but always whole, and always with a new lesson learned, a new page written in my story, and a new experience to share with others. Good or bad.

I have this innate desire for everyone to like me.

This is ridiculous, because I can tell you I don’t like everyone. Shocking, I know. So why do I place this unrealistic expectation on myself? Maybe it stems from struggling to make friends in grade school. Maybe it is just the way I’m made. Trying to figure out the why is pointless. The fact is, not everyone is going to like me. And trying to fit into some idea of what I think others expect me to be is not going to gain anyone anything in the long run. I did that for a long time, and completely lost sight of myself.

I’m still figuring out who I am today. I don’t tolerate bullshit well. I do not appreciate fakeness. I value authenticity, respect, honesty and forgiveness. I hate seafood. Driving pisses me off, but I really like having the ability to go wherever, whenever. I prefer to stay home instead of go out. I think it is wrong to actively ignore people. I believe love outweighs hate, every time. I believe faith is the answer to my problems. Black coffee is just gross. Soundtrack music will forever be my favorite thing to listen to. I hate being late. I dislike taking care of long hair and cannot wait for October 11 when I get to chop all of it off. I like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, and I think reading a book on a rainy day is rad. I will nap any chance I get. I binge watch the same show on Netflix. I can’t sit in a bath longer than a few minutes because I get bored. I struggle with patience and acceptance, of people, places and things, and also with myself. I hate shaving my legs and only do it when I absolutely have to. I recognize that I get defensive when I think something isn’t going to go my way, and I tend to pout when that happens. I also want to change that behavior. I dislike being petulant. It’s unattractive. I take things too seriously most of the time, and I need to learn how to lighten up when things just aren’t that big of a deal.

I took a solo trip to Ireland for my 30th birthday, and my goal since then has been to never forget the self-respect and self-worth I came back with. That trip lifted my spirit and reminded me that I am enough, just by myself. My weird ticks and quirks are not an accident. I believe something out there had a hand in making me exactly the way I am. So why would I try to hide those things that make me, well, me? There are plenty of defects I can work on improving. But there are plenty of things that are just a part of who I am. Today I’m actively trying to honor myself, and have the courage of my convictions, no matter who it might upset.

Becky is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

{featured image via Nicole Harrington on Unsplash}

2 thoughts on “Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead

  1. The Enchanted Outlook says:

    I think somewhere along the way, we pick up this idea that if we aren’t liked, it is due to some personal flaw. It’s just been within the past few years that I’ve realized that whether I am liked or not liked has nothing to do with how kind I am, how cool I am, or how admirable I am (or am not, for that matter.) So, all things aside, I think we may as well be the kind of people we want to be, and people will make up their own minds regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

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