Expectations. Standards. Rules. Who makes the rules we live our lives by?
Who sets constructs the standards and expectations we strive to live up to?
Usually, its our parents who first do this, no? From childhood, their job is to teach us from right and wrong, set boundaries and frame a set of standards and expectations to live by.
If you grew up in a healthy environment with parents who supported and validated you, it's fair to assume that the expectations you have of yourself and others are pretty healthy...realistic...balanced.
If you grew up in a less than ideal environment, where you had to hustle for your sense of worth, work hard to please others and gain approval? I can say from first hand experience that the foundation upon which your expectations are built upon has a lot of cracks in it, making the life you structure around them shaky....unhealthy...and weak- it s never solid.
I've spent the last 4 months in therapy coming to understand and recognize that the expectations I have for myself and of others are not my own. I've spent a good portion of my 29 years being a people pleaser, constantly seeking the approval of others (notably anyone who had authority in my life...like parents) and always feeling the pressure to be good enough in their eyes. I would do anything to gain their approval, much to my own detriment...whatever they said was gospel, I lived my life according to who others thought I should be, from the way I dressed, to what I thought about what's "right" and "wrong."
Identity? I had none. I was who everyone else wanted me to be....
Until last year when I started breaking away in an attempt to disengage and untangle myself from it all...until I started realizing how unhappy I was, how unfulfilled I was....until I realized during a session that I really didn't know what I wanted out of life and who I wanted to be.
Since that session I've been making my way back to my box, finding out who I am and what I want along the way.
It hasn't been easy, but the payoff has been worth the growing pains...the isolation that comes with trying to transform your life and carve out something that's yours and yours alone.
My therapists told me I need to "redefine normal" and get a new vision for my life, one that's framed only by His expectations and mine...not others.
My response since then has simply been, "How then shall I live?"
Normal...it's different for every person. I didn't know that before 4 months ago. I do now, and I've spent my time since deconstructing what was built for me and in its place building and constructing something new... And healthy.
It's been a liberating experience. I can't wait to tell you more about the changes that lie ahead in the coming months...I'll start with the biggest and most gut wrenching one on Tuesday.
This post is part of a <a href="http://"blog hop over at My Own BeesWax with my friend Sarah Bee. Link up and read the posts listed!