July 5, 2013 at 1:31 am #38006
I have been a follower of tiny buddha for a long time without actually posting.
The reason for me posting today is my need for acceptance from others.
It is something that has plagued me my entire life even from a young age when a teacher told me ‘you need to stop worrying about what others are doing and worry about yourself’.
I find myself in situations where I feel within myself I have done nothing wrong constantly apologizing and attempting to resolve relationships that I have not been at fault in ending.
This constant need to mend relationships in which I have been myself or an imperfect human being often have me feeling guilty for not being perfect for that person leading into a spiral of self hate and guilt.
More than anything I want to share, hear from anyone who experiences similar problems and how you can move forward from this and start having more confidence in who you are as a person and not fearing the future.
AdamJuly 5, 2013 at 7:34 am #38011
I still struggle with the need for acceptance from time to time, and when I do, I now say to myself “Does it really matter what they think? No, not really.” Sounds like you may be lacking your self-confidence and even self-worth, take some time and learn to love yourself. You gotta remember: No one is perfect, absolutely no one. You don’t even need to be perfect, we all constantly learning. Life is a journey. Go out there and enjoy the things that bring you happiness.
It’s not going to be a “do-it-once and it’ll be fix” type of deal, you’re going to need to take one day at a time to get into self-love and self-care. If you ever find yourself going back to the negative thoughts, just ask yourself: “What would I tell my best friend in this situation?” What it ultimately comes down to Adam, is you gotta be your own best friend and cheer leader. Once you’ve gotten back into the groove of things with your self-love, the confidence and all that other great stuff like self-esteem starts trickling in, in spades!
Keep at it Adam! You can do it!
LuciaJuly 5, 2013 at 8:02 am #38012
Sometimes we get confused about what provides us nourishment in each moment, and so we scramble for it unskillfully. I’m sympathetic to the difficulties you’re expressing, and a few things came to heart as I read your words.
What I read is you find great nourishment in connecting with others. This is great, fine and worthy. Human connection is one of the three needs for spiritual development (according to the Buddha… it is the Buddha, dharma, and sangha. Said differently it is our ability to awaken, the truth we resonate with, and the community that we connect to). But what is going wrong?
When we engage with others, and our confidence is low, we slip away from our inner truth and adopt theirs. Said differently, we look to others for kindness and acceptance when we don’t have those for ourselves. It is like we have a leaky bucket, where praise goes in and slips out before it has a chance to help our confidence grow. For people with empathy it is even more difficult, because there are many layers to each moment… often the words said conflict with other perceptions that arise.
There is a relatively simple solution, though it is a process. We have to figure out who we are. Know thyself. Come to know what you perceive and what you feel. Then, take responsibility only for that.
The process or practice of doing that is meditation. Consider perhaps looking for a meditation center in your local area, where teachers help people just like us find the path to inner wellness. Said differently, when we spend time sitting with our self, we come to know and love our bodies and minds, and it provides us an authentic confidence that nourishes us in a way that is critical.
If you’re hesitant to find a meditation center, consider reading about co-dependence, as it seems you have a similar difficulty. Pia Melody has a great book as does Melody Beattie. In the mean time, you could do some activities that are self nurturing. What do you like to do? What activities open your heart and help you feel comfortable and confident? For me, playing with my kids, soft music, cooking, writing, bathing and meditating do it. What does it for you? Perhaps it is time to turn your attention inward, and work to please yourself. It is not selfish! As you become more stable and happy, your gifts to others will be much more nourishing to us all.
MattJuly 8, 2013 at 1:21 am #38164
Hey Matt and Lucia,
Thanks for the kind words guys.
Your both right in the fact that I need to take it step by step.
Matt I have meditated before but find that it is something that I do not stick with although I keep Buddhas teachings in mind all the time.
I am currently studying part time and in a break period atm which has caused me to retract into this self doubting stage as I am not doing things that make me happy (right now).
I guess for me the struggle is believing in myself to know that what I am feeling is what matters, and that others thoughts and opinions are their own and should not impact me as much.
Thanks for this.
AdamJuly 8, 2013 at 7:27 am #38180
It is said that one of the pillars of development is the sangha, or community of practitioners. When a person does not stay connected to like minded people, the inspiration for practice dissipates. The other two are the dharma (truth) and Buddha (quality of being awake). Its no wonder that it has been difficult to stick with, that happens to all of us.
In regards to not letting others opinions matter so much, consider that it is helpful to remain open. So we do not try to keep the front door shut to keep others’ opinions from mattering. Instead, as we come to understand our own bodies, we learn to keep the back door open so we can let their views pass right through. This is one of the many benefits of meditation, we get practice at honoring what is there and then letting go. Said differently, instead of “your opinion doesn’t matter” it can become “that is your view, and it may have innovations that are helpful or judgments that are not.” We seperate the wheat from the chaff and keep moving, keep flowing.
MattDecember 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm #47574
I eventually ended up back in a relationship with this person who you could say that I was co-dependent upon. The relationship ended over arguments where i was being deemed as not ”putting the other person first”. That person then moved fairly quickly into a new relationship. The criticism that was leveled at me from this person and the fact that they were able to move on so quickly has left me feeling depressed, isolated and feeling helpless. I have amazing friends and family who are constantly supporting me and telling me the old ”it will get better with time” and ”you are better off” however still have the occasional person look at my mystified that this could still be effecting me so greatly.
The end of the relationship left me questioning myself, my value, my actions.
I am beginning to meditate more and practice mindfulness.
I still have days where all I concentrate on the opinion and actions of this one particular person.
Just feeling lost within myself.December 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm #47766
I sense that you value what matters to others more that what matters to you. Remember that all sources of life must flow throw you. All energy must flow through you first. YOU are the center. In other words. YOU matter before anyone else does It does not matter what people think of you. all that matters is how you feel about yourself. Low self esteem does not come from what people say about you or do to you but instead what you say about yourself and what you do to yourself. Finish this sentence for me : If I loved myself more I………….. It all starts with you. We can not seek acceptance from others if we do not accept ourselves. We set the standard for others on how they should treat us by how they see us treat ourselves. Keep pressing on.December 29, 2013 at 3:05 am #47804
Thanks for your response I really like the suggestion of “if I loved myself more I would ____” after I read this it stewed around in my mind for a while and found myself thinking in the shower (where most of it gets done :p ) what would I be doing if I loved myself more and it gave me the motivation to simply get out of the house and just buy some groceries and cook myself a healthy dinner something I would do if I was caring and loving myself more. People often and even buddha says “the person most deserving of your love is yourself” which seems simple but sometimes is the most difficult thing.