Are you being too nice?

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When I stopped to chat with my neighbor on my walk, she asked, “Did Walter (the homeless man that was displaced) get on the plane? With the help of the angels, it truly was a miracle that he made it to Arizona to be with his brother. We were all grateful and relieved.

As we chatted, I laughed and said, “I think I need to write another book on how to retire, have fun, play, and enjoy life.” After a lifetime of busyness and stress with raising kids, working full-time as an Alcohol and Drug therapist, and completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, I was exhausted.

My neighbor said, “I have so many “shoulds” in my life and feel guilty when I’m reading the paper, thinking I should be doing something productive. I remembered when I became aware that my life was full of “shoulds” my mantra became I WILL NOT SHOULD ON MYSELF.

I said “YES” to everybody that asked me to do something for them. I often anticipated what others needed before they even asked for my help. For example: Do you need a ride or a babysitter?

When I consistently said YES to others, ultimately, I was saying NO to myself. This is not self-care or self-love, but self-abuse and self-abandonment. It was uncomfortable at first when I started to practice saying NO. I felt guilty because I wanted others to like and love me and didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

Learning to say NO to others has been one of the greatest gifts I have given  myself and it gives permission to the ones I love to say NO.

Learning to relax, enjoy life, play, and have fun without all the “shoulds” and not feeling guilty about not “doing enough” has been a 10-year process. Letting go of my addiction to busyness, rushing, planning, and achieving was a conscious decision and choice.

When I moved to Maui 10½ years ago, I intended to continue to do what I did in Rhode Island: life coaching, inspirational speaking, workshops, and retreats.  God had another plan and I’m grateful I listened. I heard Spirit say after only one week of living here, “I don’t want you to do anything, I want you to learn how to BE.”  I was surprised because I thought I knew how to BE after being a therapist for 20 years and all the inner work I had done. For several years, I didn’t do any coaching, speaking, or retreats.

Instead of pushing, rushing, striving, and planning, I have learned to RELAX, go with the FLOW, live in joy, enjoy my life, and BE. I take long walks, swim in the ocean and pool, go out to lunch with friends, spend time with Larry, sit on my swing, watch the sunset, dance, paint, and go from pleasure to pleasure. My motto is, “I want to live my life to the fullest because I’m not promised tomorrow.” If not now, WHEN?

One of my coaching clients recently asked me, “Do you think you can be too NICE?” I said, “YES.” When we are too NICE to others at the expense of ourselves or despite our own needs not being met, it is a cry for self-love.

There was a time I was too NICE because I didn’t love myself and looked outside for external validation, rather than internal self-esteem. It was never enough. Only I can give myself the love and attention I crave and need. I am the ONE I have been waiting for you are the ONE you have been waiting for.

Here are some symptoms that you may be too NICE

·        You give expecting to get something in return

·        You OVERGIVE as a way to manipulate others to get what you want

·        You believe that if you’re nice, everyone will love you

·        You believe you need to do everything perfectly

·        You avoid conflict as much as you can

·        You seek external validation & approval

·        You have toxic shame you try to hide

·        You’re afraid to ask others for what you need

·        You have a victim mentality and blame others for your unhappiness

·        You feel resentment, frustrated, and discouraged your needs aren’t met

·        You feel guilty when you say NO

I am grateful that I am living my purpose by shining my light and keeping my vibration high in LOVE and gratitude. It is my intention to love and be loved, to live in joy, to be happy, to be of service, and stay connected to Source.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

Simply A Woman of Faith
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