I’m sure most of us are familiar with the remarkably insightful statement about self-esteem by Eleanor Roosevelt…“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Such a simple statement but loaded with so much wisdom. Today I’m reminded of this quote because I have discovered unfortunately all too often I have given MY consent to people, for lack of better words, who…suck. I gave them far too much credit and allowed them to suck the life, inspiration, love, creativity, and joy right out of me. It’s so easy to blame them but at the end of the day I must take responsibility because I alone allowed them by giving them my consent.
Ironically, I discovered that not only did I give my consent in romantic relationships with people but also in work, family, and platonic relationships as well. It’s funny how easily we can give away our consent and not even recognize that we are doing it. Most people would overlook this quote and say it doesn’t apply to them because most of us are very reluctant to admit that we are feeling inferior. However, far too often we give our personal power away to others because we unconsciously fall into the trap of believing they know or have more than us. Thus leaving us feeling inferior and inadvertently placing them on a pedestal in our lives.
The archaic meaning for consent is to be in harmony. So, basically no one can make me feel inferior without me being in harmony with them. And, for me to be in harmony with it means that I’m willingly being a cooperative component with it my either giving it my attention, focus, or energy. Things only remain in our experience because we keep thinking about it and/or allowing it. Therefore the primary way for me not to give my consent is to not give it my attention and/or allow it. For instance, I’ve read countless articles, books, blogs on commitment phobes. And, some authors write them off as hopeless while others will have you jumping through hoops like a circus poodle trying to get a commitment phobe to commit.
However, after expending much of my energy, time, efforts, and hope of obtaining commitment from someone who didn’t want to commit, I know longer believe there is such a thing as commitment phobe. I believe a person commits when they want to and if we want to commit and the other person doesn’t then we are setting ourselves up to be placed in a situation where we are allowing someone to make us feel inferior with our consent. In hindsight, I have to ask myself why did I put myself through so much agony and a host of other countless negative emotions in a futile attempt to win the affections of another? It is in pondering that very question that the answer was simply I gave my consent.
I gave my consent when I kept trying instead of staying true to my desires and cutting ties. Basically, to sum it all up I gave my consent when I chose to continue to give it my attention, focus, and energy. I hurt myself over and over again by elevating someone above me. And, in the process allowed the situation to suck me dry. But, it’s all good because I have learned exponentially about life and people as a result.
I’ve learned the game of life is about making the best use of my energy (personal power). I’ve also learned about energy usage and how I give my personal power away each time I give my consent to do the following:
- make someone or something outside of me more important than what is inside of me
- focus on things I do not want instead of things I do want
- overlook or not value who and what I am
- attempt to borrow my worth from things, situations, and/or people
- look for validation from people whom I believe know or have more than I do
- waste time on thing, situations, or people who suck instead of investing time in the things I love and with the people I love and who love me in return
- choose to accept things I don’t want instead of taking action to create/allow the things I do want
- engage in things/situations/people that deaden me instead of what brings me life
- focus on who will make me happy instead of what will make me happy
- allow energy vampires to run amuck in my life instead of surrounding myself with positive people who know how to engage in healthy relationships
- allow people to remain in my life who are with me out of obligation
- allow people to remain in my life who use, abuse, or don’t appreciate me
- allow people to remain in my life who don’t really like me but want something from me
- choose to not set healthy boundaries with people
- mistakenly trying to fix or save people
- remaining in friendships that I have outgrown
- allowing people to remain in my life who don’t like themselves
The past seven years of my life has been a rather painful part of my journey. But, I know that I’m coming out on the other side of it. The beauty of it all is I now know how to harness my personal power to create the life I desire and the happiness I so richly deserve. I have a choice about who I’m with and why. I fully understand that if a situation is not working for me, neither of us will end up with what we want. And, most importantly if I made an error by choosing to be with someone who is not a match for me, I’m only compounding the problem by continuing it.
In the famous words of Barney Fife, “Nip it in the bud”. I am reclaiming my personal power and nipping situations, things, and people in the bud that suck. And, I will do that by not allowing it to make me feel some type of way. Spliff happens but it will happen without my consent going forward.