When I became a mother, I was trying desperately to not only be the very best wife and daughter in law, but also a mom – a new mom! The message I was receiving from my married family right from the start of my marriage was that my pre-marital responsibilities towards my own family should no longer be a priority. I struggled with this the entirety of my marriage, but that is a story for another time.

The point is, we immerse ourselves in a kind of obsession where we are trying to be the best version for all these societal and familial roles. In our desperate attempt to perfect the role, we fear failure, we fear disappointment of the other person’s expectations of us, we fear criticism, we fear not getting it right, we fear mistakes, we fear judgment … we just FEAR!!!

How exhausting! Reliving all those emotions of fear, even as I type this makes me feel exhausted and drained. And in the midst of desperately attempting to be the best and do the best for others based on these roles, we forget about the most important role, the most important responsibility, which we have always overlooked, and that is, the relationship with our self, the responsibility towards our self, and what we want for our self!

I picture it like this. We become servers at a dinner table. Imagine yourself as a server that has walked up to a table that is surrounded by a number of people. You go around the table asking each one of them what they are expecting from you. How can youserve them. We are trying to take a customized order from each of these people, about what and who and how you need to do and be for them. They truth is, the number of people that surround this table will continue to go up and down, and so will their demands and expectations of you. We have a choice. We can either write down and cater to every single customized order no matter how many orders are being placed, and then go back into our “kitchen” and try and “prepare” the “best version” of our self to go and serve to them, or we can choose to hand over a preset menu of only what is available, no substitutions, no additions, you get what is available, otherwise feel free to step out and go to another “restaurant”. I am who I am. Love me or hate me, accept me or reject me, but sorry folks, this is all that is available here.

On the rare occasion, if you feel up to adding some extra taste or spice to what you have to offer, do it on yourterms. Perhaps you can call that version “today’s special” where you may give a little extra because youdecided it works for you. If it is accepted, great, and if not, that’s fine too. But remember still, even with “today’s special” there are still rules and boundaries that need to be respected. There will still be no substitutions and no additions.You only get what is available.