Perhaps as a child you were told not to toot your own horn, even when you accomplished something amazing. Or maybe you were told to stop dreaming of setting the world on fire, and “have modest aspirations, so you wouldn’t be disappointed.” Maybe when you try to express your authentic self you hear an old voice berating you for “being a show off.” Yet at the same time, out of the corner of your eye you see it was the big gestures that got all the attention in life. Glamour. Fame, Wealth. The trinity of what’s considered good taste and worshiped by the world. Or at least that’s the way the international best-dressed lists, the movie stars’ mansions that are glorified in glossy layouts. It’s not enough to write a finely honored first novel, it has to be a best-seller or you’ll have difficulty publishing a second one.
You can’t just be a talented actress, you have to win an Academy Award to be considered a success. Tell me, when was the last time you knew of a bronze medalist signing a $1 million endorsement deal? Most of us wouldn’t see our name in lights on Broadway, so we give up, sorry we even tried, our sense of self diminished. Being a modest success just doesn’t make it. We hear “modest” and think “mediocre.” What if modesty isn’t the self-effacing shy, retiring, nerdy virtue we’ve thought she is? What if modesty is really passion restrained? What if modesty is a virtue full of her own smoldering sense of self that she isn’t distracted by the glitz? The American writer and illustrator Oliver Herford believed that modesty was ” the gentle art of enhancing your own charm by pretending not to be aware of it.” People with an authentic style know what they are, but even more important, they know what they are not. They don’t care about labels, They care about personal expression.
Frank Lloyd Wright would never have asked Laura Ashley to decorate his house, even though both showcase the beauty of modesty in their work. The trick is to go deep enough to tap into the core of your authenticity and allow it to flourish. Are you wondering how to begin? First, find out what you love and remember that if you are someone who has tried to please other people or what we call a “people pleaser” this can seem like a daunting task. You may experience awareness that you are so disconnected from yourself that you don’t even know what you like do,much less love to do. You might want to talk to someone who is professional trained who can teach you how to go from being a people pleaser and help you to find your authentic self.
I leave this thought with you today. Goldilocks was a modest little lady who didn’t want very much. She knew what was “just right,” what was perfect for her . . . be it porridge, chair or bed and she made confident, creative choices. Now there’s a girl we should all want to be when we grow up. It’s never to late, you’re never to old, to young, to find your authentic self . . . and you clearly are not a trash can.
Are you doing the right things but in a relationship with someone who isn’t? Remember the saying, “What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”? Talk about stress and complexities! When we don’t live our lives according to our moral standard . . . when we make all of our decisions based on a sliding scale designed by someone else . . . when we give them permission to lie or twist the truth . . . our lives can get really complicated, really fast. When we allow ourselves to just go along with someone to get along we can start to become unglued faster than we ever thought.
On, the other hand, when we live by a healthy moral code, things get so much simpler. Should I tell the cashier that the one cup cake pan sheet rang up is actually two stuck together? If you live by a moral code, there’s no stress for you in this situation because you know exactly what to do. Should I fudge on my income tax? If you live by a code of honor, the answers simple. Should I fantasize about someone who is off-limits? Have an affair? Lie to my husband about the credit card bill? Pass along a bit of juicy news even though it was told to me in confidence? These are no-brainers . . . as long as you have a code to guide you.
If you want to see how complicated life can become when moral standards are compromised? Just watch the news or Judge Judy on any given day there are stories about people who used poor judgement just one time and caused themselves a whole heap of trouble and sometimes even end up in jail. Those men and women are reaping whirlwinds of complexity unusually because somewhere along the way, they got out of the habit of doing the right thing. You don’t want to be like them. Do you?
If you live by a moral code, does that mean your life will never feel stressed or complex? Of course not. But when you make the healthiest choices you can make, each and every day, no matter what traumas and stress comes into our lives at least you’ll have the comfort of knowing that you did you best. Maybe you’ll sleep better at night. Besides, as stressful as life gets, the chances are good that you’re going to want to avoid the added stress that comes with a lifetime of making REALLY bonehead decisions. They say you reap what you sow. So why not Sow wise choices and reap peace.
The good news is that with a little effort or a lot of effort depending on your circumstances you can strip away the residue, wash out unwanted build-up, experience less fatigues, and even put a new bounce in your step. Best yet, you’ll never have to explain to your husband or boyfriend why you are over your limit on credit cards. If you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have the same moral code and they don’t want to develop one then you might consider ending the relationship. After all you’re not a trash can . . . are you?
The statement you’re not a trash can mean that you are allowing someone with or without recognizing their behaviors to provoke you into emotional patterns that are not good for you. Think about this when someone is dumping into you all their negativity and emotions or belittling you . . . It’s as if they are vomiting into a trash can but instead of a trash can you are a human being who deserves to be treated in a respectful way, in a kind and loving way. If you have lost the ability to treat the ones you love with respect, kindness, and love then maybe you should stop and take a hard long look into yourself and get to the root of why you are not able to be kind, loving or respectful and stop using people like trash cans.
Allowing yourself to be used as a trash can does not originate from a personality flaw or a generic defect. Allowing yourself to be used as a trash can many times is rooted in immaturity, a fact that speaks to the possibility of a codependent lifestyle. However there is good news you don’t have to continue allowing others to use you as a trash can, you can change. While change is never easy, no one has to remain forever in the trash can position. You can change your position any time you want. No one has to remain forever codependent and forgo the opportunity to move from immaturity to maturity. The first step toward maturity is acknowledging and confronting your own codependency.
The key to change is motivation. When your pain in the relationship is greater than your fear of abandonment, the motivation for change is powerful. Moving away from the pain of Codependency then becomes a matter of choice and commitment. If you feel that the relationship you are in is more of a curse than a blessing . . . that it brings more death to your soul than life this can be a strong motivation for change. Maybe it’s time for you to choose life and not death for your soul and get out of the trash can.