Updated: Jun 15
People disagree on a lot. What unites people of different religions, politics, opinions, and beliefs is that most of us love animals. All the time, I see posts about how someone would rather hang out with the dog at the party or how they like various animals over people. Why?
My theory is that it's because animals love us for exactly who we are. We don't need to pretend to be anything other than ourselves around them.
💙My sweet Sammy. The first big dog to steal my heart. We got him when he was five. We lost him the year after I graduated.💙
I am learning that I matter. My feelings matter. What I think matters. My limitations matter. What this looks like in my life is evolving.
Primarily, this is me just being me with everyone in my life. I am putting an end to making myself smaller and watering myself down to make others feel comfortable around me. This is an interesting time in my life because I am upsetting people who are used to me pacifying them to get them to like me. This isn’t their fault. It’s mine.
I should have had the courage to be authentic years ago, but I didn’t.
I have been afraid of being rejected, so I did what I had to do to fit in. I did things like let certain people think my feelings weren’t hurt or that I didn’t feel disrespected when they treated me a certain way. I kept my beliefs and opinions to myself to not offend people. I kept pieces of my story hidden from certain people to keep up their view of me. By keeping my mouth shut, smiling, and nodding, I let people think I shared beliefs with them that I don’t. I let people think I was okay with things that I wasn’t.
I care deeply what people think of me, and I hate making people feel awkward or uncomfortable. I especially hate when people are mad at me or disappointed in me. However, feeding this fear of rejection came at a huge cost to me.
This cost me the ability to be myself.
Erik kept asking me why I didn’t want to be social. He couldn’t grasp why often times I'd rather just stay home with Marina (my tiny poodle) and felt that I was a paradox because I also loved being around certain people but struggled around others. For a while, I didn’t really know what to tell him other than that I felt more comfortable around certain people.
💗My ride or die, Marina. I got her in 2014. She's been by my side through everything including childbirth.💗
One day, as I was trying to explain my heart in a situation with people I had completely not been my authentic self around, it clicked for him… and me. We realized that it’s heavy on the spirit to be around people who it's hard to be yourself around or people who you feel are judging you when you are being yourself.
I have trouble getting my body to relax when I am not being true to myself or am around people I don’t feel accepted by. My pattern is to revert to people pleasing and faking it.
So many people these days seem to be antisocial, yet we as humans are wired for connection. It seems to not make sense until you ask yourself the question, am I able to be exactly who I am around the people making me not want to be around people? Am I truly accepted for me?
With my shift in approach, I am shocking people and unintentionally hurting feelings. It makes me cringe. I am wondering if some people will ultimately get over it, stick around, and accept me for me or will they reject who I actually am and drop off?
I recently set an intention to find my soul family. I have the feeling that part of this process of finding aligned souls to call friends is determining who liked me because I was people pleasing and who likes me for me. I have hope that some will adapt and decide to still be my friends.
💜Angelina Catrina aka Angie. We got her when I was 6. She died just before I turned 24. The sweetest, most easy going, lovable, little, poodle in the world.💜
I am looking for my people:
The people that I don’t need to constantly filter myself around.
The people that don’t need me to fit into some kind of a mold to like me.
The people that are free to be themselves and give others the freedom to be themselves acknowledging that you don’t need to agree on everything to be friends.
The people that simply love people for their unique souls.
The people you don’t need to have the plastered on smile or peppy attitude around.
The people who don’t care that my beliefs may be different than theirs.
The people who don’t necessarily have to agree with my boundaries, but can respect them.
I need to be able to speak the truth in my heart, live my life accordingly, breathe, and just be who I am. That’s peace.
I am very good at assessing situations and people and acclimating, but I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to belong not just fit in.
As I don’t have much practice, I will be the first person to admit that I don’t have this thing figured out. I don’t always know the best ways to honestly communicate to people when they have crossed a line. I am praying for God to help me find kind but firm ways to be true to myself and my limitations.
One of my toxic habits is that I have let people cross lines, and I push myself to breaking points trying to keep people happy.
I let it go until I can’t anymore, and then I feel like the only thing I can do is strongly and firmly create the boundaries and communicate my needs and feelings that I should have established a long time ago which shocks people and makes them feel attacked and like it came out of left field.
There is a better way, and I need to figure out how to navigate things with more grace.
My goal is to be kind enough to myself and ultimately others that I don’t get to breaking points anymore. I want to navigate situations as I go, so I don’t have to avoid people or make some kind of grand stand to reclaim feeling internally safe.
Establishing boundaries in this way is really hard for me. As a recovering people pleaser, it makes me feel vulnerable and like a disappointment. My pattern is to avoid seeing the people I’ve set boundaries with at all costs to avoid seeing their displeasure in me.
I no longer feel like I belong around them or in environments that were perhaps theirs before I came into the picture. I end up feeling displaced and like I need to make myself small or nonexistent.
You can still show up for and show love to people who are upset by your boundaries. While this may seem obvious to some, it’s a tough one for me who’s knee jerk reaction is to avoid and hide.
💛Jasmine Jean. My first niece and my namesake.💛
So, maybe we don't love dogs or other animals more than we love people. Maybe we just feel safer to be ourselves with them. Maybe we could all try to take a lesson from our dogs, and try to love people for who they are on a soul level instead of looking at their politics, religions, views, feelings, sexual orientation, etc.. We'd have some seriously connected and freeing relationships.
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not try to twist them to fit our own imagine." Thomas Merton