Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Good vs. The Ugly




Growing up, whenever we did something kind for one another, or for our parents, my Dad would always tell me 'You will get your reward in heaven' (even though he is an atheist through and through). Partly so we'd keep doing jobs as kids and never expect anything in return, but partly because doing these things was the right thing to do. This saying, and the way I was brought up in general made me a kind, caring (almost too caring), moral, and soft-hearted person. The saying itself has little resonence with me now (being agnostic myself), but the acts of kindness I carried out that caused that sentence to be uttered resonante with me still.

As a kid, this person I was becoming didn't seem an issue, but as I've grown older, this kind, moral and soft-hearted attitude I've developed has caused me to be knocked down quite a bit. People joke about being thrown into the 'big bad world' but from personal experience such a phrase makes perfect sense. That is not to say that I behave Saintly all the time, I don't. I am human. I've done some exceedingly selfish and wrong things, things that I repeat over and over again. But often enough the times where I am selfish, or I do something immoral or unkind leave me feeling guilty and sad. But for many people I have met, who do the selfish, or the immoral or the unkind thing, they do not fell this guilt, this unworthiness or sadness, and as a result they continue to act as such.

Throughout my teens I have cried, thrown up, had nightmares and been utterly miserable not only by the way I have acted, but the way people have acted towards me. However, I have always managed to turn the other cheek, to get back up and to go on doing what I believe is fair, is right, is kind. But recently, this "determination", or this "bravery" as my boyfriend refers to it, is beginning to waver. My entire moral, my beliefs in doing the right thing, in acting fair and kind are like a mound of precariously stacked plates. People keep removing plates at random, harshly tugging them out from underneath, not only making my tower of moral shorter, but also weaker, as the plates that make up my beliefs of kindness and soft-heartendness begin to totter.

I look around and see people who have what they want, who get what they want, and they do so by not working as hard, not trying to please others, and by going after what they what, regardless what others, especially those closest to them care or feel. It has me wondering, whether maybe my lifes attitude is wrong, maybe I should be being a little more selfish, a little less considerate of others and a little less caring. This is something my boyfriend has reiterated to me, as has my mother. I feel they've both become tired of me sacrificing myself for others, pleasing others and trying to be fair, then coming home, or phoning up crying that I've done the right thing and ended up worse off than those who acted on purely selfish motives. Even now as I sit here writing this I can think of a handful of situation this week alone where I have given up what I wanted for others, to make the situation eaiser, but made myself so miserable and angry in the process that I've phoned my Mum and lamented at her for over twenty minutes (if anyone's interested, she told me to march back there and say what I wanted, and voice my opinions outloud rather than locking them in the ever growing safe of such situtaitons I keep held up inside my head). But I just couldn't do it. On Wednesday, even when presented with the question "What do you want?" I couldn't answer, especially when I knew that what I wanted was also what other people wanted. It was as if the guiltiness I felt at the thought of being selfish, if just for thirty seconds, rose up inside me and took my words. Zipped and padlocked up my mouth, and threw away the key.

I'm trying to not loose sight of my beliefs, trying to stay true to my strong sense of moral and soft-heartedness, but I'm also beginning to realise that always trying to do the right thing, being kind and putting myself before others is making me miserable, and I have to take a stance. I have to go after what I want, regardless of whether others close to me want it to. I have to start putting myself first sometimes, and stop caring so much about whether doing what I want will make others sad. I'm going to start small, taking the biggest slice of the pizza, serving myself before my teenage sister, speaking up and saying 'I'd quite actually like that room too', or 'How about you pay for a change?'. Hopefully things don't escalate out of control, for although this whole post has been about trying to loosen up a bit, to take a stance for myself every now and again and speak up, I don't want to loose sight of who I am. I don't want to stop being fair, kind, and always thinking of others, for thats who I am, its who I've always been, and it was the way I was brought up to be.
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