By Eric Faria
I recently realized something: all people are exactly where they are meant to be in their life journeys. In my personal life, I played, for the longest time, the role of the “perfect boy,” the one that needed to please others, and be liked at all costs. I was really good at it: I suppressed myself and who I was in exchange for others’ perceived care for me.
I’m not a victim. I simply allowed, tolerated and invited individuals to treat me that way. I did not know that it had become a pattern, my pathology. I was addicted to the story of the “abandoned unworthy boy.” It was truly my drug of choice. The deeper into it I got, the harder it was for me to actually see the light, a way out of that vicious cycle. What was I doing wrong? Why didn’t people like me? Why didn’t they stay? I was so good, so kind, so “perfect”…
That was exactly it. In wanting to please everyone else, I forgot about the most important person in my life: ME.
My personal turning point was twofold: first, healing the little boy who thought he was abandoned by his father at age five and who repeated that story over and over again. My father didn’t leave physically, but he left emotionally. He didn’t know better; he did what he could at the time given his knowledge. Once I learned that, I had to forgive myself and pick up my five-year-old self from the side of the road of loneliness and despair where I had left him.
Secondly, I learned to embrace my authenticity. Since I didn’t have to be an adult coming from the perspective of a wounded little boy any more, getting to know who I actually was became a question that was worthy of me – confronting and rewarding at the same time. How many people go through life without having any sense of who they “really” are, without ever questioning why they do the things they do or practicing any self-examination? I know I was part of the walking dead for a long time.
I once read a quote that said: “The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.” I admire people who stand out rather than stay in a limbo where indifference takes over. Our mediocrity does not serve ourselves or the world – at all.
Sometimes I ask myself why I continue to seek and dig deeper. After all, it is not comfortable. Breakdowns happen. The pain becomes (very) real at times. Then, I remember that I don’t have to do it. Not at all. I can keep doing business as usual. However, I’m willing to do it because I remember how limiting and limited my existence was not so long ago. I do it for me, I do it for my loved ones, I do it to impact the communities that I’m a part of, I do it so that I can have a positive ripple effect in my neighborhood, in my town, in the world.
People will criticize you no matter what. Unhappy people are unhappy with themselves. Emancipate yourself from your mental prison and let your light shine.
Do it before sunset.
Eric Faria is a Career and Life Coach, focused on emotional intelligence. He has been doing self-development trainings since 2005, using these tools in his professional coaching. He graduated from an ICF (International Coach Federation) program in January 2014. Faria lives in Connecticut, and in addition to working with private clients, he gives lectures and records motivational videos. For more information, or to contact him, email EricFaria11@gmail.com.