diary of a recovering people-pleaser
Written in January 2022; edited July 2022.
I’ve been binge-watching Selling Sunsets (don’t ask me why, I don’t know either!) lately, and it’s been interesting to observe the dynamics between the cast. Who really is the ‘villain’? Whose description of reality is most correct? Do we trust the one that we relate to the most, or the story that logically adds up the most?
The most telling refection I've gathered from the show is that hurt people, hurt people. Usually not by malicious intent, but more of an illogical reaction. Of course, that doesn’t mean it justifies or minimises the hurt.
I was considering this as a recovering people pleaser. What does this mean for those who may be hurting but cannot accept hurting others. Does this mean we’d rather hurt ourselves? Is this why we overcompensate and look to others to love us? What a hopeless cycle.
I’ve been battling the tension between being selfless and self-less, as I start to see, by God’s grace, the implications of some unwise decisions.
I listened to Mars Hill podcast series last year, and the biggest thing that stuck with me was the ignorance of overlooking the hurt caused in achieving the celebrated end results. That has since shaped a lot of my decision-making, and I’ve personally started to call out such situations in different areas in my life.
The good God and the bad situation
One of the tough questions I asked myself recently was “How can I love someone who is hurting me?” or “How can I respect someone who disrespects me?”
What guided me in this reflection was remembering the God of the Bible is good and great. The One who gravitates towards us in our pain and is present with us in steadfast love, but also transforms and restores it as part of His promise of redeeming it for our good. This hope is only possible because of who He is — all powerful and separate from this world. God treated us better than we deserved, seen by sending his son Jesus into this world. So as a Christian, honouring others isn’t a matter of it being the ‘right’ thing to do — it is the only thing to do.
Exposing the dark moments
I’ve since been compelled to put in the work and enter darkness, even though I don’t think I deserve to, with hope and trust that there is good gift waiting on the other side. Why? Because Jesus did the same thing when He approached his final hour, for the people He loved. I’d like to preface that I did this with the support of community, professional help, and constantly in prayer.
But asking the questions doesn’t make me faith-less. Asking the question actually reminds me that I am human (not God), and I live in a broken, senseless world. I still long for a cure, and pray to remove the pain away from me.
In time, it will come.