Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

People tend to fall into patterns and make life decisions based on what they’ve been guided to do. Sometimes they were kind of programmed to go in a certain direction. Many women are taught young that their biggest goal as adults should be to find a husband, get married and have kids. A job is like an extra component. If everyone in your family is in a medical field, chances are you’ll be expected to follow suit.

We’re often guided or gently nudged into a direction by parents, teachers, and even the media about where we should belong and carry what they teach us around like baggage.

Sometimes it’s so subtle you don’t even realize it till you find yourself unhappy and feeling helpless about how to switch your course. I began adulthood as a DoorMat and did what I was told. After being with the same guy through college, our parents joined forces to convince us we should get married. I was just twenty years old and felt like I hadn’t lived as an adult yet. I wanted to explore life on my terms and see what I wanted to do for a career. But since I hadn’t found my voice yet, I succumbed to pressure, got married, and became a teacher like my husband, which I never wanted to be.

Trapped! That’s how I saw myself back then. Since I’d always been told what I was supposed to do, I didn’t know how to find a path I’d be happy on. So I stayed a teacher and housewife for years, worrying about everyone’s needs but my own. A friend suggested I try to figure out what I wanted out of life but I had no idea where to look or how to know what to do that would feel good. It was scary to think about going against the grain. What would people think?

A big question we often have is: Where do I belong??

When you don’t think for, or about yourself, it’s hard to know where you belong. When I was a DoorMat, my whole life was about who I was to others. I felt like I only belonged where others put me, helping them out and being there for them. I had no “Daylle place.” I never had ME time. That wasn’t on my agenda when I lived to please others. So I felt lost most of the time. People pleasers often feel lost when they don’t feel like they fit into themselves.

Now that I love myself completely, I belong to me and my place on this earth is of my choosing—whatever makes me happy. Until you belong to yourself, and love yourself enough to own that honor, it’s hard to find where you belong in the world. When you belong to you, you make decisions based on what you’d like, not what others would like from you. So when you choose to belong in a direction that’s satisfying to YOU, not to people you please, you’ll find out where you belong.

I belong where my heart feels good. You belong where you feel good. I remember loving the line from the old Metallica song, “Where I lay my head is home.” I equate feeling like I’m home to being where I belong. I belong behind a computer, writing. I belong in the park, running. I belong in any place that makes me happy, any place that feels peaceful and satisfying. I no longer belong in DoorMatville! That need is way over! Pack up the old baggage of where others think you belong and get rid of it so you can find out where home is to you!

So, where do you belong? Please share in the comment section below.
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Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2012 HERE.

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