What’s in it for me?. This People pleaser asked | by Cathie Van Rooyen | May, 2024

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I’m a people pleaser. Or I could say former people pleaser. But I was so good at it that I still have traces spill through my system now as an older person. I was taught that my life was to be of service to others, to fellow man and god. The emphasis mostly was to Man. Now I’m not wanting to come across as male bashing, as it was just the energy of the times.
Men were important.
Women were there to serve them.

Photo by Museums of History New South Wales on Unsplash

I took my role very seriously. I decided at the age of 11 that I was going to be a nurse. To serve mankind in the best possible way plus it would give me a career that would enable me to travel. I couldn’t just say that I wanted to travel, no, that would be selfish and unladylike. Plus how was I going to do that dream without a man? By being a nurse, I would pave my way into salvation in the life hereafter which at the age of 11 seemed far more important than enjoying this actual world. I was Obedient with a capital O.

I had a strong, quiet rebellious streak.

She asked ‘why?’
Why to everything.

For most of my adult life I had this internal conflict. After my only one year of nursing training, I walked away liberated and free. My rebel had taken charge, I was going to please ME. I found myself in a fabulous TV job which got me travelling at the same time of doing something completely non human-serving but the Obedient part sulked in the background. I accepted a lower salary than my male counterparts because that kind of information was ‘confidential’ until casual chats and questions disclosed these discrepancies. I was furious but powerless to do anything. Again, it felt like the energy of the times.

Roll on the decades of doing good, and being submissive, always putting others first…. it was exhausting but I was excellent at it. One of the hardest questions to me was
‘What do you want….?’

Moi? As in me? Cathie or should that read… cathie?
I’m fine.

The stony energy of fine. Solid, unwavering, cold. To the world I was all love and light and kindness but to myself I kept nothing. One of the ways this showed up was in money. I gave away my therapy, my time, my expertise…
‘Pay me when you can..’ I’d say. I repelled money, I feared owning my worth, my skills, my truth, my power.
I wrote a couple of books and then hid. I’ve hidden a lot of my power all my life. It felt safer that way. And safety for this woman was crucial. Dad said so, the world said so.

I found safety though, strangely enough as the planet changed with the ‘plague’. As travel stopped, life as we knew it stopped, I found an inner safety which is slowly strengthening my inner worth. I’m beginning to start thinking ‘what’s in this for me?’ As time stretched out, I started venturing into my likes and pleasures. I started travelling and I’ve learned so much about myself. What I like, what I want to do, what I want to see… who knew that I could do this? Who knew that life could evolve into this juicy smorgasbord of choice?

What’s in this for me no longer feels as selfish. Naturally there’s still a lot of adjustments but I’m learning…and loving. The best person that I could find to love and who has been waiting all this time….
That’s what’s in it.

And that is worth everything.

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