Sunday Healthy Reflection-Struggling to find your voice

It is the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked.

– B.J. Palmer, father of chiropractic

Struggling to find your voice

In the face of conflict we might be tempted to just go with the flow and not make waves. The path of least resistance is saying “yes” when you want to say “no” and that road is always paved with regrets and mistakes. While compromise is good and a necessary part of healthy relationships, no one should have to fully deny their feelings and remain voiceless while others dominate a situation. It might feel easier to nod your head and passively agree, but in the long run you are being cheated. While there might be a whole list of justifications and excuses for stepping off the path of your principles, staying true to yourself reaps countless more rewards than selling out to appease someone else. Reconcile today the negative passivity you have displayed in the past.

Brought to you by Sparkpeople’s Healthy Reflections.

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Staying true to myself. A very difficult thing to do. I am not a selfish person by nature. I want to please everyone. I want to make THEM happy, even at the risk of being unhappy myself. I might give up something I want just to make the situation peaceful, without conflict. And I know….it’s not right. It’s not the best for me. My friend over at The Grown up Child, a blog about children of divorce would say, my nature is to be pleasing, because it is how I coped when my parents divorced. I bent. I agreed. I pleased. I wanted all my parents to be happy. I didn’t want to rock the boat.

In later years, my teens, I would deal with alcoholism from both sets of parents. Whatever boundaries I might have tentatively established were pretty much wiped out during those trails. Welcome to co-dependency. It took until my mid-thirties to really come to terms with me. Discover healing, standing up for myself, being selfish, and truly leading a life that I wanted. One with boundaries and principles. It was very difficult. That wasn’t comfortable for me. And I couldn’t do it completely on my own, my strength wasn’t just mine. I had a lot of help with God next to me, guiding me, and giving me the courage.

I say all that because it is SO easy to knock it all down. One yes. One turning the other cheek. One compromise. One pleasing moment too many. It all trembles. YEARS of work. YEARS of building come to a crashing cliffhanger. The difference between then and now? I understand what is going on. I can plug the hole, move the stone, and stop the tremulous swaying. But it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of faith. It takes overcoming the FEAR of failing. The FEAR of rejection.

Right now, this reflection speaks to me because I have conceded one too many times in the last few years. Maybe I pursued the wrong choice. Maybe I compromised my convictions. Let things go one too many times. Whatever the case, it has produced negativity and strife in my life, not to mention utter passiveness, which has spilled over – personally – affecting my nature for the worst. I have dishonored my work ethics. I am not reaching my best, nor am I staying true to myself, and the integrity I hold dear. Integrity I worked YEARS to build.

I have also ignored signs of boundary struggles that my daughter is having. She is only fifteen. This is a very important time in her life. I don’t want her to go through the struggles I had. Thankfully, I can talk to her. My experiences can help her understand what she is going through. I didn’t have anyone at her age to help me with that. Of course, I won’t make decisions for her. I will only help her know she has choices and she does not have to say yes when she wants to say no. To anyone. Not even family. Not even me. She has a voice.

And I remember something else too, I have to turn up the volume on my voice. The one that speaks for me. My values. My honor. I will not settle for less. I might not make a lot people happy with what I choose, but I have to stay true to me. True to my family. True to what will give us the greatest life possible. Jason, Sydney, Molly and Bridget are worthy of that. And do you know what that is? A healthy, happy me. Sound selfish? You bet. I only have this time, this moment, these years to make a positive impact on the family I love. I will not be passive. I will not cheat myself for any means. I have justified my situation for far too long and it’s time to change for the better.

So tell me, how do you find your voice when it seems lost in the roar of life? What affirmations do you tell yourself to stand firm in what you believe?

38 thoughts on “Sunday Healthy Reflection-Struggling to find your voice

  1. This is a beautiful post, that definitely speaks to me. Although I am not a child of divorce, there was a lot of fighting and arguments in my home; I was the mediator. When I went away to school, my family was lost without me and refused to call me, almost my pennance for leaving them without guidance.

    I am a new mother now, and you have reminded me how important it is to ensure that I don’t spend so much time caring for everyone else’s needs that I don’t care for my own. I want my son to have a loving mother, but not at the expense of my own well-being. Thank you.

    Happy SITS Sunday
    amber šŸ™‚

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    1. Amber-Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t imagine how painful that was. Being a mom really changes things. We want our kids to have the best and that includes the best of us.

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    1. Jingle-Hi! I’m hanging in there. How are you? I’m working on a poem! Trusting my instincts is key for me the last 4 years. I used to never listen, I didn’t trust it. I do now but knowing and action are two different things. I am working on that. Always happy to see you!

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  2. I think it takes a significant maturity (for most of us at least) to feel confident enough to do what we think is right and live how we feel is best and this typically comes with age. Also I think when you have children that changes things too – not only do you have to consider what is best for your family but also (in my case at least) you learn so much more about yourself and what is truly important to you.

    Interesting post and beautifully written as always

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    1. Jane-Thank you so much. You are right. I think maturity and the turning of life really do have a lot to do with it. I worry about Sydney having a lack of boundaries but she is young and that could grow stronger as she grows up.

      I want to give her a good example. Don’t let people walk on you or treat you bad. Stand up for yourself. It really is important when we have children to make sure we teach them important character values. She really has taught me a lot about myself. Children are amazing!

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  3. I have found when I don’t stick up for what I believe because I don’t want to make waves or just quiet my voice I do it because I think I will feel better for not having rocked the boat. I think that if I don’t open that can of worms then I will feel better because I won’t be the “bad guy”. But then with the compromise I feel worse than if I would have just stuck to my opinion. So that is what I do: I remind myself that when I sacrifice my beliefs in order to not feel bad I end up feeling worse.

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    1. Terre-That is great life transformation to have that insight and employ it. It took me a long time to come to that conclusion and really stand up for myself. How empowering! I know my life is much more peaceful. I’m sure yours is as well. šŸ™‚

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  4. I WAS a people pleaser…now I live my life. If people can not accept and respect my choices they are not worthy to be a part of my life because I choose to accept and respect theirs. It’s a difficult change to make, but the peace in your life and your inner peace is worth it. You stand up for Angelia!

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    1. suzicate-I like to make people happy but not if it makes me uncomfortable. My bells starting RRRRRINNNGING. I’ve not had a choice in a matter until very recently. As stressful as it is, it will all be worth it soon!

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  5. I’m definitely not perfect at it… But I’ve seen too many people very close to me face hardships down the road because they’ve let their own voice get lost in the midst of making everyone else happy. For ME, I think what I need to do is let my voice be heard by God, and then let Him take care of the rest. Let Him help me know when I need to clear the air or when it’s going to clear itself. That’s what seems to work for me.

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    1. Much More than Mommy-Your words really cut to the heart of it. Listening to God and following the path he laid out is ALWAYS the best plan. Great advice that can never go wrong. It will always work out for the best.

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  6. What a beautiful post. I know the struggle trying to please all the people surrounding you. This left me quite without orientation some time ago. I didn’t know who I was and where I wanted to go.

    However, something that really helps me is Yoga. Doing the excercises I calm down, concentrate on myself and what my body/soul needs. Afterwards I’ll feel refreshed, relaxed and like I’m “back on the track”.

    Another thing that I’m just discovering it God. Lately I also find a lot of answers or inspirational thoughts in the Bible and while I’m praying…

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    1. Deiala-Both of those are great things to find calm and peace within. I need to get back to Yoga class. My last surgery I used Yoga techniques in the recovery room. I was released very quickly and even walked half a mile the next day. The releasing and breathing really do work! Thanks for the reminder. šŸ™‚

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  7. I think that in standing up for yourself and staying true to you, you provide the exact role model your children need. That is a tough age. We struggle through some tough times with Lu. It was awful. And when you’re close, its so hard to set those boundaries and separate yourself from them. But I have the utmost faith in your abilities Angelia. You’ve already set her a good example.

    ♥Spot

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    1. Spot-Sydney seems to LACK boundaries. I feel like I helped in that, not encouraging her to be firm and make decisions. It’s hard to watch her be complacent. Then again, she has two laid back parents! DOH!

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  8. I agree, now is the only time you have to give to your kids, at the age they are right now. I know, obvious, but so true when you really think about it.

    If you are happy in your own personal life you will be a much happier mother and in turn your kids will benefit even more.

    So you absolutely have to be selfish, because each of us needs to get recharged and rejuvenated to be able to give to the fullest.

    I ask for time to myself and my wife is very cool about it. I encourage her to do the same. I guess that’s how I stay true to myself. I ask for what I need.

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    1. One of the Guys-A lot of my issues have been work related. I feel like I have brought it home. I feel like it has shaken the core of who I am. When you are in that environment 80% of your time, it’s difficult not to bring the negativity home or affect your personality. I love the way you put it so simply and truly.

      AND I think that is so cool you and your wife have that kind of relationship!

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  9. “So tell me, how do you find your voice when it seems lost in the roar of life? What affirmations do you tell yourself to stand firm in what you believe?”

    It is still very difficult to make my voice count. I still have, when I speak out, the feeling, oh my gosh, what have I said. Because, as you said also, I want to please every body and that people think I am a kind person. But over the years, it goes better and know, I am who I am.

    And being good for yourself, is not selfish. You are the only one who knows yourself the best and knows what you need the most.

    Thank you very much for this post, Angelia, it is very valuable what you wrote. Have a wonderful week! XXX

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    1. Ellen-It is difficult and I do struggle. In the end, it’s who I am, love it or leave it. If I step out of line, I will apologize. And I do – often! But it beats being a mouse and I am proud of how far I’ve come.

      Thanks for the wonderful comment!

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  10. Excellent post, Angelia! You know, like you said, it’s very hard to stand up for yourself and your opinions and principles, but if you don’t, who will?

    I’ve learned that some situations can be like eating a can of worms, but once you’re done, it’s behind you. And you know you’ll be so much better on the other side. Anyone can get through a can of worms.

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  11. good luck. it’s a bit of a crapshoot—sometimes holding your tongue is the best thing, too. and not taking it all too seriously, although that is easier said than done.

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  12. I say good for you! If you find you are unhappy, then it is time to change the things you can. Changing ourselves seems to be the hardest challenge, but also the most rewarding.
    For me it has been.

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  13. let me know any time after you post your poem,
    I am thrilled that poetry has become a goal, a hobby, a new trend in our community…
    Happy Tuesday!
    You look cool!
    šŸ˜‰

    Like

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