I've worked with the same people for more than twenty years. They know who I am, they know my character, they know my set of values. In part, I know how to act because of their expectations of me.
When I am around my family, they know who I am, they know my sense of humour, they know my particular rhythm. In part, I know who I am because of what they think of me.
I know that some people are weighted down by the expectations of others. I understand that sometimes the family we grow up with can put us in a box and breaking behavioural patterns that were set long ago can screw things up, etc. blah blah blah. But I am talking about values and expectations that make us better people.
I am talking about defining your boundaries. I am talking about knowing where your line is drawn. I am talking about being the daughter your mother raised you to be. This is a common saying of a friend of mine and I simply love it. It reminds me to be strong, to be smart, to work hard, (and to clean the house for Pete's sake!).
If the people you surround yourself with know where your lines are drawn, know your personal set of values, know your boundaries, then it is mighty difficult to step over the line. There would be disappointment and possibly feelings of betrayal if you start breaking your own code of ethics all willy nilly like, right?
But maybe your life has changed so much, and in such a way that you have forgotten who you are and what you stand for; maybe you no longer spend forty hours a week with people who expect you to act with the integrity they've always known from you.
Maybe, at the same time, there is someone new in your life you want to like you. Maybe their values aren't the same as yours, and you forget that you once stood for something in the eyes of your family. Maybe your wife has to remind you to be the man she knows you to be.
We all need a reminder to be our best selves. The self who has taken the lessons we've learned in our life to heart because they were hard earned. Hard earned lessons that taught us to be better human beings, and to be better to others.
Don't be afraid to remind those you love to be the best they can be; having expectations of others can be a good thing for both of you. Remind yourself to be the daughter your mother raised you to be, the mother your children look up to, the wife your husband cherishes. It doesn't have to be a burden set upon you by others; use it as a compass when navigating the harder decisions that come your way. It can help you stay true.
peace and love,