I am a determined woman. By the accounts of those who don’t understand my plight or hold me in unfavourable esteem, my determination is interpreted as stubbornness. Call it what you will, when I make up my mind to have or be something I pull no punches in my pursuit to have or be just that. This characteristic, I have been told, is a hallmark of all successful people and one that I had very dear. One can’t get by in life without direction, and it’s up to me to make sure that direction is one that best suits my innate sensibilities.
I’ve often encountered times in my life where I’ve called my determined nature into question because it caused uneasiness in my friendships and romantic relationships. Always flexible and prone to compromise for the sake of peace, in younger years I’ve allowed myself up reign in my personal desires because they caused strife in my connections with others or “undermined” the esteem of someone I held dear. I was told that sacrifice was necessary in order to promote harmony so I figured harnessing a bit of my drive couldn’t hurt much if peace was the end result. Ever the idealist humanitarian I never wanted to be viewed as selfish or prideful at the expense of others and I assumed dialing down my determination was a way to demonstrate humility. Golden Rule According to Angela: I compromise and compromise would be afforded me. Life is about give and take, right? If I yielded to the will of others, eventually my will would be upheld in return. Great in theory, but it turns out not everyone sees the world through my rose coloured prescription lenses.
Most spiritual teachings hinge on the principle of selflessness while modern day society promotes the opposite. To be from the world but not of it has found me kicked in the teeth when attempting to turn the other cheek. To what purpose has this practice really afforded me towards achieving my goals? Not a very pleasant one.
As I’ve developed I’ve learned that in order to succeed I have to maintain a level of determination that places me at the forefront of positive reception. I have to declare certain intentions as concrete, and pursue those desires doggedly, with little regard to the effect it may have on outsiders. I have to begin standing for what best serves me, without malicious intent to those I love, but without negative compromise to myself. It is the only way I can be satisfied with life and do anyone any good service. Those who see this as threat to their agendas are no longer going to hold me back by my allowance of their selfishness. Those who truly honour me as I AM know instinctively that this could never be a threat to them, and will encourage my declaration because they know I can only be my best self to them when I’m my best self to myself. This is the necessary balance between pride and humility, and one that I will never again upset under the guise of pseudo peacekeeping.