Someone said this to me the other day. Someone I trust.
She was trying to remind me that, contrary to my popular belief, the world doesn’t revolve around me. And that I’m not as powerful as I sometimes like to think I am.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. At least your world doesn’t. I’m pretty much aware that my world does sometimes revolve around me, more than I wish it did. I like when I’m less self-involved and focused, but that’s not always possible, I guess.
I was most likely going off on one of my “I should have known better and have done better” rampages. (Yes, I still can, at times, get caught there.) I was probably getting stuck in my perfection-quest – to be all things to all people, to get out of my own (and your) way, to say “yes,” “absolutely,” and “what do you need or want from me? I’ll do it!” I was looking at a circumstance that was beyond my control and (mistakenly) thinking it was within my control. Again. And that I should have, therefore, known and done better.
“You’re not that important,” she said to me. Translate – “you’re not that powerful and you’re not (nor can you be) uber-responsible.” How come I think I’ve gotten around that one and someone reminds me that it’s still a recurring stumbling block for me? How am I still toppling into over-responsibility?
Am I alone in this???
A false sense of responsibility gives us a false sense of control, and therefore a false sense of safety. Note the word “false.” I can get, and was getting, ensnared in my desire for safety, and therefore my distorted perspective from when I was a child – that if I just do it all, and do it all right, things will be okay. Luckily today I have people I trust who call me out on this. Honestly, I’ve gotten so that I can – and do – call myself out on it. Easily, and more often than not lovingly as well.
You would think I may have been insulted, or at least angry, when I was cut down to my rightful place by someone whom I love and respect. Instead I felt relief. It may feel empowering to envision myself with the power to change the world, but it’s a false sense of power. I may feel more protected and less vulnerable when I mistakenly believe I am that important, but I’m mistaken.
You’re not that important. How freeing.
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