“I don’t know Susan, I had decided to take a break from facebook on Friday, however the prior Wednesday someone from the hall posted something on FB and had tagged me. It is still bothering me, I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but this one won’t go away. I am dating someone who is still married, although separated, and I care what other people think about that.” Yes, these words were spoken on my voicemail by one of the women I coach in sobriety. She recently celebrated 2 years of sobriety, she is 50 years old, and is in the beginning faze of a relationship. She is like a fish out of water, for she hasn’t had a healthy functional relationship most likely – ever. The beginning of this relationship looks messy, but who is say how it ends up – I have seen enough, and experienced enough to know better than to think I know what the outcome of such situations will be.
My role with her is to take her back to her original decision to engage in a relationship – period. Than to discuss her decision to engage in a relationship with him while knowing of his circumstances. We all have decisions we make in everyday life. Specifically, for a recovered drug addict or alcoholic, we have made so many decisions which resulted in heartache and despair, either to ourselves or those close to us, that we tend to be gun shy for a while in sobriety about any decision we make. We can’t tell if they are good or bad decisions. Most of us in the beginning of sobriety will get stuck in the comparison game – my insides to your outsides. The ego runs the show most days, until we grow spiritually and emotionally, and begin to let go of such judgments against ourselves and others. We take those people we have placed on pedestals down from them, because we begin to understand they are human like us.
For is the problem what other people think about her decision to date a recently separated man, or is the problem she is lacking in confidence in her original decision to date him. After all, she is a 50-year-old woman quite capable of having a relationship. When we engage in whatever decision is in front of us for a moment we are 100% fully confident in what we are doing, it is afterwards we doubt ourselves. Why do we do that? For example, in her circumstance she knew everything going into the relationship, why doubt it now? There could be a few reasons – the obvious is she now doubt her decision because other people have input, the circumstances were not picture perfect. She now questions if she made the right decision. I wonder why these things didn’t pop in her head when she first spoke to him, texted him, spent the night with him. Where was the doubt then?
My point is – own it. Own your decisions. For they are your decisions. No one else is going to face your consequences for your decisions, only you. For someone to now doubt their decision because someone sits in judgment is cowardly. I would suggest standing proud in your original decision. Reflect on the moment you decided to engage, and ask yourself to remember why it was o.k. then, and now why is not o.k.? I’m not saying decisions sometimes need to be changed after the fact, however if they are changed then have confidence in that also, and not regret the original decision to try it out.
I have a belief most of our problems come down to two primary things. One, the need to be liked. Two, low self-esteem. We all suffer from both, some more than others. It will depend on the scenario and what is at stake to determine which of the two show up the most.
If your decisions are resulting in pain, heartache, or you seem to have to do a lot of “clean up” work after you are making your decisions, then you might want to reevaluate your motives behind your decision making – most likely there is a degree of unhealthy selfishness going on which is causing drama in your life. More less your decisions are not working because something deeper within isn’t resolved – either they are being made due to low self-esteem in which ever area they are in, or you are making them to be liked by people.
However, when your decision is made with love, kindness, giving, altruistic motives you will be met with peace harmony. Yes, people will still judge you, but you shall remain confident for your motives were in a good place.
The woman I coach is a lovely woman, who is very grounded spiritually to her source. She is willing to stand up for herself now in relationships, and ask for what she needs. She also recognizes the circumstances regarding her new relationship. I will advise her to stand confidently in her decision, and not lose sight that she was sure of herself when they began to date – of course his situation can be judged, but don’t let others opinions crowd out your confidence in who you are.
Naysayers, complainers, doubters, worriers, skepticals all have one motive, to pull you down so you doubt what you are doing. Don’t let them.
And remember, you are making your decisions ultimately to have a fun, enjoyable life – stand confident in this.
Have a great day, enjoy the journey, you only have one!