I feel like I have a gift for finding ironies. For example, I want people to think I'm smart, so I share that I have an engineering degree and an MBA (see, I'm doing it again!). The irony: if I have to tell people I am smart, then how smart am I, really? I want to be a good mom, so I mimic what I think good moms do. Ironic then that I am focused on other moms rather than on my children. I could go on...
The irony that I want to speak to specifically is the one about pleasing. It seems that I so easily fall victim to the need to have others like me, to avoid discomfort, to delay an awkward conversation, or advocate for my own needs. Alas, I slip into pleasing like a soft pair of fleece pants on a cold autumn morning.
In my effort to please, I'm NOT focused on them. I am squarely focused on myself. Ironic, yes? I think I am pleasing someone else and simultaneously patting myself on the back for being such a good, kind, compassionate, helpful, understanding, flexible, etc. person. Me, me, me.
Why stop? Well, there isn't much purpose focusing on me. The real power is in serving others. When we can focus outwardly rather than inwardly, life takes on a whole new perspective. The irony here, the double irony, is that when I serve instead of please others, I experience more fulfillment and purpose.