Why I Stopped Being So Nice

 

prayer

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I was not raised in a religious family. My father was and wanted nothing more to do with religion once he grew up and left home. My mother tried when my brother and I were little to take us to church, but we hated it. She finally gave up. She was also not raised in a religious family. I think she only tried taking us because as a mother she felt it was some kind of duty. So religion was never a part of my life.

I think my mom and I both had some belief in God, but it was accompanied by questions that neither of us could find answers to. So it was there, but blurry and buried deep.

In the past nine years I have lost my dad, my mom, my brother (which is all of my immediate family), beloved pets (yes, they are my children), friends and relatives. There have been over a dozen losses in that time and it has left me struggling to cope.

I have had an anxiety/panic disorder on and off my entire life and am now suffering from depression. When my brother died suddenly and unexpectedly last year, I fell into an anxiety ridden hell that I am still fighting my way through. And I am basically alone with this struggle. The title of this blog says it all.

I have read many books and blogs about anxiety, hoping for some new “cure” they might have found to get over it. Through this search for answers I came upon a book called “Help, Thanks, Wow, The Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott. I bought the book and read it in one night. It touched me deeply and I was very surprised. It made me finally believe in God.

It has helped me to have some faith that I will get over my anxiety eventually and that God has a plan for me, which I just have to wait out. It has made me realize the many blessings I’ve been given over my lifetime  and prayers that were answered, even when I didn’t actually pray.

However, being the person that I am, and that being a bit over zealous about things, I realized I was suddenly trying to turn into an angel…never doing or saying anything wrong. I had to be a perfect person so God would continue to help me. Now, I like to think I’m basically a good person, but an angel I’m not. For one thing, I swear like a sailor…not sure why, but I do. I’ve done things that weren’t  horrible, but questionably not the noblest. I’ve gossiped and been jealous, tried to get even with people who hurt me…human things. And that’s just what I finally had to realize. I’m human.

When I reread the book, it reminded me that God forgives us these weaknesses and it’s ok. One day I got very angry at something someone said to me. Instead of confronting them about it, I kept “angelically” silent and let it pass. Later, I got even angrier at myself for doing that. It was totally called for to let that person know they had crossed a line with me.  That’s when it hit me that I was being too nice and it was not healthy or necessary.

I am now comfortable being more like my real self and not trying so darn hard to be “nice.” I still try to be the nicest person I can, but now if I get mad, I let it out. If I swear, it’s ok. I was holding in so many emotions that it was making my anxiety worse. I don’t think God expects us to be perfect, so I’m banking on that and allowing myself to be me.

What do you think about this? Please leave a comment and let me know your views…I always love to hear them! Below is the book I was talking about and it is an Amazon link, which is an affiliate of mine. All this means is that if you click on it and happen to buy the book, I get a small commission for it. If so, thanks in advance.

Remember, keep being your wonderful self!

 

 

 

16 Comments

  • By Kim, November 19, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

    Sheila!

    I totally agree with you. I was brought up to be nice, and not say a word. Anger was a no no, and expressing it was not “ladylike”.

    Today, I have learned, like you, to express my feelings, even if they are negative. I know God doesn’t love me any less.

    AND

    How come I didn’t know you are blogging?

    I have some catching up to do. 🙂

  • By Sheila, November 20, 2014 @ 7:06 am

    My dear Kim,

    Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do yours! 🙂

    Yes, we have to express negative as well as nice…and God doesn’t mind at all. I’m glad you know this…it took me a long time to feel ok about it!

  • By Amit Vele, November 26, 2014 @ 6:07 am

    Dear Sheila,

    Repression does more harm to us. I had a similar experience as to what you are going. One day I decided to shed away everything that I didnt like and became myself.

    It is all effortless. We all want to be remembered, so we do everything what a society pleases to. But, we will be soon forgotten. So why take the burden?

    Loved your post. Thank you for a small reminder in my life. 🙂 God bless you

  • By Sheila, November 26, 2014 @ 6:19 am

    Hi Amit! Thanks for the comment. You make a very good point and it’s wonderful that you let go and became yourself. We all need to remember that we have to be true to who we are and that we are enough that way. God Bless you too.

  • By Chu Nam, December 24, 2014 @ 4:30 am

    Everyone also have their own process, people always can treatment, cure, fix, improve anything they want if they effort to find the right way. People should be themselves, work with their best and give love, and serve other people to find peace of soul and mean of life. We simple stay positive situation all of time because even you do anything life will still go on. People should into it, be themselves.

  • By Sheila, December 24, 2014 @ 5:00 am

    Thanks Chu Nam for the comment. Yes, you are right, people just need to be themselves. Very good advice.

  • By Jay Sis, March 30, 2015 @ 12:42 am

    I realized that no matter how nice I was, I would receive nastiest anyway and many times people would be even more nasty. Then a friend I had told me, “The nicer you are, the more they hate”. I didnt understand at first until I started standing up for myself and even becoming a pitbull at times that I realized people.respect people who are nasty and even rude. Shrugs. It is what it is.

  • By Sheila, March 30, 2015 @ 4:46 am

    Unfortunately Jay Sis that can be true. People don’t seem to respect kindness anymore, but on the other hand, I don’t want to lower myself to their level…but I won’t put up with their crap either. It’s a hard line to follow, isn’t it?

  • By Cecilia, July 29, 2015 @ 7:45 pm

    Thank you, Sheila for a great post!

    I´ve had a pretty complicated childhood with alcohol, violence and harsh words so I grow up to become a person who was far from Me. But now I´ve finally found myself. It has been a long journey but it has taught me a lot and today I´m very grateful for everything life has shown to me.
    Life is so much easier when I am Me.

    You Rock!!!

  • By Sheila, July 30, 2015 @ 5:23 am

    Cecilia, thanks so much for commenting. I give you huge bravos for coming through your trials and finding yourself. It’s very hard to do and takes a lot of courage, which you obviously have. Much love to you.

  • By Heidi, November 4, 2016 @ 3:22 pm

    Oh, Sheila, that is an extraordinary amount of loss! It’s hard to emotionally tally how much. It feels like such an enormous, difficult, sad, hard thing.

    But your ability to Keep Going; keep encouraging others; sit with the So-Muchness of this, and not be overcome… It gives me hope. For you, for humankind. Perhaps we are fundamentally resilient in a way I tend to doubt. Perhaps we will be okay… individually, collectively. Maybe our planet will rebound. My heart is hearing the message–Keep the Faith. Maybe things will be okay!

    I hope you find more family and friends, to fill some of the gaps. All who know you are lucky to have you in their lives. (I feel lucky to have you in mine.)

    Blessings & Kindness–Heidi

  • By Sheila, November 5, 2016 @ 8:40 am

    Oh, my dear Heidi. You always make me feel good about myself and that is a wonderful talent you have. Thanks for taking a look and commenting. Love ya doppelganger.

  • By JiEun, November 5, 2016 @ 4:46 pm

    Hello Sheila, What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for your losses. I personally haven’t had any experience of losing someone who is very close to me. However, I’m experiencing something similar where my grandma is suffering from either alzheimer and parkinson’s disease. (Doctor couldn’t make a diagnosis for her condition. They think it is somewhere in between both conditions, but not definitive). We lost ability to communicate with her. so I think I can remotely understand what you have felt and still are. I can so relate to feeling jealous. So do I. Thank you for sharing your story so I can connect with you. I’m so happy that I found your blog 🙂

  • By Sheila, November 6, 2016 @ 6:30 am

    JiEun, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma and I know how hard that is to go through. Thank you for checking out my site. I really care about the opinions and reactions from people I trust and feel a bond with and I do with you. <3

  • By Quinn Eurich, November 8, 2016 @ 2:14 pm

    With a name like “Alone With Life”, how could I not come and see what you write about! And you write so beautifully.

    Life changes when you lose people and pet-children that you love. They’ve helped you create a life and now it’s a life transformed into Swiss cheese riddled with holes.

    You wonder how you’re going to go through each day that has so many bits of emptiness that you can fall into even though you try to keep your balance and not do so.

    I’m so glad that you found the book you needed at the time you needed it!

    Though it’s hard to be alone – do you find it also freeing in that you can make the changes you want to make and need to make for yourself without getting pushback from other people’s expectations of you?

    And I totally get the swearing like a sailor! For some reason doing so is amazingly freeing!

    Thank you for sharing yourself in this way, and thank you for commenting on my post. It made a connection that warms my heart!

    Quinn

  • By Sheila, November 9, 2016 @ 9:46 am

    Quinn,
    Thank you so much for commenting. It’s funny you said “Swiss cheese” because that’s what I always say my heart feels like…every loss leaves a hole. I am so glad I found the book too…it really helped a lot.

    No, I can’t say that it feels freeing to be alone. It seems like it would to some extent and I know what you’re saying because I have thought that to myself…that I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself. It’s ironic though that that brings no comfort. I wish it did.

    Thanks again and I’m sending you a big hug.

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