My Favorite Lesson I’ve Learned In 2023 So FarMindfulness
We are officially in the third month of 2023, and much has transpired in my life these past three short months. We never know what a new year will hold for us. Of course, we always have high hopes and dreams, but as the newness wears off, and the monotony of regular life settles in, life brings forth opportunities for growth and change.
In these three short months, a common thread has started to appear in my life. It’s a lesson needing to be learned and an opportunity to challenge my life’s perspective.
For most of my life, I made it my mission to be liked and accepted. I am a people pleaser at heart. I really dislike confrontation and awkward tension. I rarely like to rock the boat, and I am so unbelievably uncomfortable when someone is mad at me.
But as we know, life presents us things that we might not love, to teach us how to gracefully handle them, and maybe not be so afraid of them any more.
Quite truthfully, I’ve experienced a fair share of sad, difficult circumstances in my personal life lately. Things have happened that I never could have expected, and to my surprise, I find myself no longer wanting to people please. I’m no longer willing to brush things under the rug to keep a (toxic) peace, I’d actually rather be aligned with myself, my life, and my truth.
When people are used to you constantly trying to please them, a sudden stop is a quite noticeable shift, and it’s not a pleasant one. But the benefits of standing up for yourself, what you believe in, and not catering to the demands and pressures of those you once aimed to please far surpass the surface-level pats on the back for doing a “job well done.”
The lesson that I’ve learned in all of this, and the mantra that seems to be constantly repeating itself in my mind is this: it’s okay to be the villain in someone else’s story. Because this is how I’ve felt, every single time I’ve had to go against my grain and act differently. I feel like the villain, which is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world, but somehow, this mantra pops into my mind, and I remember that it’s okay. Because I have to be.
To be clear, because I wouldn’t want anyone to misinterpret what I mean by all of this, being the “villain in someone’s story” doesn’t mean being cruel or harmful. It’s not an invitation for bad behavior.
It means, it’s okay to disappoint someone else by standing up for yourself. It’s okay to set boundaries in relationships that no longer feel supportive and loving. It’s okay to speak your truth, even when you know that the receiving end won’t like it. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to cease communication, and it’s okay to regard yourself with so much respect that you are no longer willing to tolerate parts of life that drag you down or dim your light.
It’s okay to be the villain in someone else’s story, if it means that you finally become the hero of your own.
So when I start to feel anxious, guilty, or uneasy about something I’ve said or done, in the name of honoring myself, I remind myself that it’s okay, and this really helps me to find peace when it feels turbulent.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org