One of the most difficult concepts for me to accept along my journey has been that my life is exactly as I intend. If you haven’t come to the realization of this truth then you likely think I’m crazy. Give me a moment and let me elaborate…
Someone once told me “intentions equal results“. At the time, I thought to myself, “you are saying I’m sad because I have intentions to be sad? That’s just asinine.” At that time in my life, I was severely depressed.* I was on a journey to understand how I could be happy and it felt impossible. Something I struggled with most was feeling like a doormat. I let people walk all over me. I didn’t set boundaries and couldn’t say no to anyone.
Over time I started to deconstruct the source of my unhappiness. I went through cognitive behavioral therapy which was incredibly powerful (and sometimes painful). I was amazed to learn my behaviors weren’t always so cut & dry.
Some behaviors have a source sometimes so deep within in us, we don’t even remember when they started. I learned for me, it was when I was very young. I learned a pattern of needing outside approval to feel validated. Thus, I became a people-pleaser. It helped me get that sense of validation I craved. That pattern grew over time and into my adulthood. It never served me well, but in adulthood it was disastrous. Have you connected the dots?
Need to feel good enough ↠ Need of outside approval ↠ Being a people-pleaser ↠ Became a doormat
My intention was that I wanted to feel good enough, I wanted to feel loved and accepted. So you can see that yes, my intention equaled my result. It just happened to be a very unhealthy way to meet a core need. For me, the result of my behavior was being a doormat. It was only once I realized the true source of my pain that I could make a change.
Years before I had decided I no longer wanted to be a doormat. But guess what? I constantly relapsed because I wasn’t taking care of the root of my issue. We all need to feel loved and accepted. It’s a core need for humans. In order to stop being a doormat, I had to figure out another way to meet that need. This is why some people replace one bad habit with another. Until you find the root of the issue, you won’t be able to grow.
I spent time working on my confidence and self-care. I learned to love myself and accept myself without the need from outsiders. Today, I’m no longer a doormat to people in my life. I am a strong, resilient and powerful woman who has made a difference in the world because I knew that I had to start within.
What are you denying is an intention in your life? What could you change that would help bring you more happiness?
*I want to emphasize strongly that I do not advocate that you can simply “think” your way out of depression. I believe that depression stems from both chemical and environmental circumstances. I have been able to find my own peace by finding the right balance of medication and mindfulness. Your thoughts are a strong factor in your depression and recovery, so I encourage you to explore them when you are able (in a healthy state of mind). If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone in your life for help.