Originally published 6-26-11
Usually I gravitate towards praise, and I’ve been aware to keep my approval addiction in check thanks to Dr. Phil and OWN, and people who want the best for me and who support me. However I’ve had a few pivotal moments/relationships when I knew that some of the people in my life really didn’t want the best for me they didn’t really want my light to shine as brightly as possible, and I had to find a way to take myself out of the situation.
People who have wanted me to dim my light have come in different forms.
The guy that was in a relationship but called me anyway. He didn’t really want to best for me, he wanted to keep me around as an option, in Spanish we say “una velita puesta,” which translates to “one little candle turned on just in case.” It may sound harsh and I could have rationalized it until I was blue in the face, but in the end, he didn’t want the best for me, he was being selfish.
The friend who got bent out of shape when I stopped drinking as much and eating late night burgers. They were comfortable with the way I was, Miss Party Town USA, and most likely me trying to make improvements made them take a hard look in the mirror. Not everyone is ready for that.
The boyfriend who was somewhere between annoyed really pissed that I loved my career. Maybe the real problem was that I loved my career more than the relationship. Just a few days ago I told someone I was sad there was going to be a lull in our work schedule, and he said, “why?” And I said, “because I love to work.” He may have thought I was an alien. I have followed the advice of many who have come before me and have landed a gig that’s exhilarating and that challenges me in new ways and so work never really feels like work, it feels like a road on the way to fulfillment. I think that a partner who wants the best for you and who wants you to be fulfilled will never make you choose between a career and relationship.
Most people who try to control other people do it out of their own fears and insecurities, and often it has nothing to do with the person it’s being projected on.
If someone is trying to dim your light, it’s not your fault, and it’s not even necessarily their fault. You can’t control anyone else’s behavior, but you can control what relationships you allow in your life.
Let’s borrow some advice from Weight Watchers. Let’s say you get 100 energy points a day. Do you really want to waste any of those points on arguing with someone, or trying to force someone to change their mind, or would you rather devote your time and energy to positive people in your life, people who bring you joy?
Choose positive, it will make a difference. In no time, you’ll turn around and be able to say, “Wow, look how far I’ve come!”
All I know is if you are around people who want to squelch your gifts, your talents; try shifting your energy to relationships that foster your growth, your happiness, and your best. As my darling friend Gentry says, “You are the boss of you. Make sure your light is shining brightly.”
“If you’re doing your best and they don’t want what you have to offer, give them your blessing good bye. “–Oprah