For most of my life, I struggled with needing others to be happy before I could allow myself to be. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. If that feels familiar to you, please remember one of the best gifts you can give yourself is recognizing when you’re depending on the state of others for your own sense of well-being and self-worth.
No one else but God is your peace—not even your family. You need to be secure in your own identity, or you’ll suck the life out of everyone else’s, even as you try to please them. No one’s approval gets to define who you are. No one’s state of mind gets to determine yours. No one’s mood gets to dictate how you feel. You get to be in charge of the quality of your inner life.
I know you’ve been hurt, and it’s easy to fall into pleasing others trying to protect yourself from it happening again. But you also know that never works for long, and almost always ends up in deeper pain and isolation.
But, every day you invite Jesus to strengthen your heart and renew your thinking is a day you’re becoming more whole and free. One of the beautiful paradoxes of God is that when you no longer need anyone’s blessing to be yourself, you become an amazing blessing to everyone.
“Mary sat at the Jesus’ feet, listening to everything he said. But her sister Martha was fixated on preparing an elaborate dinner for him. She interrupted him and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.’
But Jesus said to her, ’My dear Martha, you never need to be so worried and stressed about things like this. Your sister has discovered what’s truly important, and I will not take it away from her’” (Luke 10:39-42, paraphrase).