I have spent a great portion of my life allowing others to make my decisions for me. When I was a child, I did everything according to what my parents dictated. As I grew older, the peer pressure kicked in and off and running I went with the pack. Then it was in the work place where I acquiesced to all of the rules and regulations of the office. And at the same time, my social life was governed by all of the usual ways of meeting and getting to know others. That was until I started to see that all of the tried and true methods of existing with others didn’t work for me.
The first thing that I had decided to tackle was religion. I had been raised to believe that God was someone/something to fear. This worked for all of the time that I was under the thumb of my parents and religious studies but once I was on my own, I started to question this premise. That wasn’t my God – my God loved me and helped me and I was made in his image. Ding, ding, ding! So what everyone else had told me was true was not my truth.
That wasn’t the end by a long shot. As I moved through the work place, I worked very hard and was able to work my way up through the ranks in a segment of government dealing with taxation. When I reached the top position that I could attain without a political appointment, I knew that it was time to move on but that did not happen until I learned another very important lesson. There were rumors going around that said that the only way that I could have achieved what I had was because I was “sleeping” with someone higher executive. I was having a really hard time dealing with that and I chose to discuss it with my dad. His response to me was that at the end of the day, I had to answer to myself and if I wasn’t doing anything wrong, then it didn’t really matter what anyone had to say. Now that was something that fitted with my thinking.
Well, I guess I still hadn’t learned my lesson because the next big event in my life was my marriage to a controlling and abusive man to whom I gave my power for 10 years. It took me that long to understand that I did not deserve the abuse that I was receiving and that all of the things that I was told that were wrong with me just weren’t true. I believe that that was my true turning point.
Please don’t get me wrong. I still do ask for people’s opinions especially when I need to make a decision in an area where I don’t have any expertise. But, I will take that information and do my own research and if something doesn’t make sense to me or doesn’t feel right, I will not stop until I can reach a decision that feels like the right thing for me. This has ruffled more than a few feathers along the way but if my relationship with another person has to be based upon what that person thinks about me, it won’t take long until we part ways.
So to anyone who comes my way in this lifetime, I don’t care what you think about me. I will appreciate you for exactly who and what you are and I expect the same in return. I will support you in any decisions that you make and I will accept nothing less in return. And should you choose to talk negatively about me or do things that are harmful to me, I will not do anything in retribution but will quietly remove myself from your sphere, knowing that what goes around comes around and you can set up any karma for yourself that you choose.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.