I’ve been bothered lately by the fact that I have lived most of my life as a ‘people pleaser’. For many years I thought it was a good thing. I could get along with just about anybody. I detest conflict of any kind, so this was very comfortable for me. But I’m slowly realizing it is living a lie in many ways.
I grew up with divorced parents. I didn’t ever want to hurt either one, so I’d adapt to the situation I was in and attempt to be the person I thought that particular parent wanted me to be. That need to please carried on through high school where I did my best to be friends with everyone. And looking back, I don’t really see that as such a bad thing. I had friends of all kinds…some I had lots in common with and others not so much. But I enjoyed those years, though I’d never in a million years want to go back!!! What has me concerned is that as I have transitioned into adulthood, my focus has shifted a bit. Now I don’t think my goal is so much to reach out in kindness to people, as it is to give them the best possible perception of me. I’m literally afraid to allow people to see the real me for fear of the conclusions they might draw.
Divorce is a horrible, tragic thing for everybody whose lives it touches, most especially the children. But if one good thing has some from this circumstance in my life, it is that I am figuring out a little bit of who I am at my core. I was engaged by the age of 19, and still had a lot of growing up to do. My first child was born days after my 21 birthday. In the following 6 years, I sustained 4 more pregnancies. The result was 5 small children age 6 and under and one very maxed out mama. I didn’t do a lot of soul searching during those years and wasn’t (and am still not) very grounded in what I believed. I see now that I leeched off of my ex-husband to direct my thoughts and beliefs and didn’t force myself to think for myself. You can only ride the coattails of somebody else’s existence for so long, before you realize that you are hanging on by a thread. At some point you have to find your own experience.
I may have just painted a very dull picture of life at that time, when in reality it was full of blessings. Each of my precious children instilled in me a desire to be “good”. For the sake of those young lives I wanted to be something remarkable for them to emulate. But in all that, I lost the focus. Anything truly good in us comes straight from God. We simply aren’t capable of making that happen on our own. But it is well within our means to fake it. I realize now that this is what I did so often. I did things that I was told I should, even when they didn’t make much sense in my own mind. Even doing things that are good and right, can be done by the wrong motivation. This is what I want to change.
I want to look my shortcomings and weaknesses straight in the eye. I want to accept me for who I am at the very core of my being. I can tell you already, I don’t like much of what I am finding. But at least I am being real with myself. And finally I want to take myself, tarnished character and all, before the Lord to see who He wants me to be. I really want to be done pretending my way into the good thoughts of others. It is a struggle for me to let go. Much has changed in the past year and a half and the domino effect is that I am a very different person now. I think the Kasey that is emerging is more true to the real me, and I’m certain there are plenty of people who don’t like it. It goes against the grain for me to show that side, but I think it is healthy. The only way for me to move forward is to deal with the good, bad and the ugly…and to allow God to work with me to change the latter.
So if you see me changing, and it leaves you feeling perplexed and concerned…bear with me. I’m hoping and praying that the Lord isn’t anywhere near done with me yet!!