“The answer is inside of you all along.”



Some time ago I made all the wrong choices and trusted all the wrong people. I let my heart do the decision making and not once did I allow my logic to have a say. I was what they call a “push over”, a “doormat”, a “people pleaser”. I did anything and everything I could to make everyone happy, but I still came up short. No matter how hard I tried, somehow someone was always disappointed, mad or upset. I didn’t want to let go of anyone, especially the ones who would never be happy with me, because then I’d have to admit failure.


In my mind, I could not and would not fail even if it ruined me; even if it meant my own unhappiness.


I stayed friends with the same girls who spread hurtful rumors behind my back, convinced it was my fault they started them in the first place. I relentlessly clung on to relationships where I knew the guy was flat out treating me wrong, but again I was convinced it was my fault. I let the same toxic people back into my life repeatedly and easily welcomed them at times when they weren’t even knocking at my door, just because I thought I initially caused their actions. I thought if I could fix what I was doing wrong, then I could fix them. I could fix how they were treating me and make a better, stronger connection and all of us would be happy finally. I didn’t know at the time that I would never possess the capacity to force happiness onto anyone.


As time went on and I continued to focus all my energy on everyone else instead of myself, my own self bliss began to shimmer out. I started looking in the mirror and hating the reflection of the pathetic woman staring back at me. I couldn’t recognize her—myself. I seemed so desperate for approval that I was agreeing with the toxic people in my life who mistreated me. I’d tell myself the reason everyone is miserable is because I’m not good enough.


Then came a time when I lost almost everything, my family, my friends, and I almost lost my soul. The more I tried to please everyone, the more I faded away into uneasiness, paranoia, and despair. I was truly insecure.



However, during all the heartache and losses I had a revelation… As the toxic people in my life one by one began to slip away for good, I realized I didn’t have to worry as much about making them happy anymore.



At first, I was heartbroken, but then I felt relieved. I didn’t have to change the way I wore my hair, or clothes; I didn’t have to change my interests, hobbies, or personality. I could be me and not worry about disappointing them because they were gone.


Each day I took time out to sit and write down what I liked and disliked. I wrote about what I believed in and what I didn’t believe. I wrote down my labels and occupancy, such as, mother, daughter, journalist, artist, sister, etc. I thought about more and more of who I am and what that means. If I had some people in my life who were happy with me then maybe I am better than what I make myself out to be. Maybe I don’t need every single person to be happy with me. All I need is one person and that’s me. I need me to be happy with me. It starts with me and it extends to others.


Positive self-love leads to positive received love.


Instead of waiting for the toxic people to leave my life on their own, I took initiative and cut them off by my choice alone. I rediscovered who I am and who I can become. I stopped becoming a “doormat” and started becoming the “door” that would dictate who can come into my life and who is harmful enough that they would have to stay locked out. I didn’t continue to be friends with people who weren’t really my friends. I didn’t cling to the guy in my relationships if he was the one putting me down or mistreating me. I put an end to my use and abuse from other people who weren’t genuinely there for my sake.


Once I realized the woman in my reflection looking back at me is beautiful both physically and within her own soul, then my happiness emerged. The shimmer of light gleamed back brighter in my eyes. I know now I won’t ever make everyone happy; there will always be someone disappointed with me. I won’t allow that fact to change the new found love I have for me. I won’t allow someone else’s negativity to bring me down or ruin me. I won’t continue to blame myself for their actions nor will I accept that I am not good enough because I am. I am more than enough. I had to find myself to find happiness. I had to accept the person I am for others to accept me as well. I have control over my own happiness, it comes from me. Happiness comes from within.


*Do yourself a favor and love you completely. Love the woman you are and strive to be the great woman you know you can become. Don’t let harmful people have that much power over you. You are worth more and deserve better.



If you hold your standards high, value yourself, and love you, then happiness will follow.



More positive people will come along because you attract what you put out, so send that positive energy and let it boomerang right back into your heart.



Jacqueline Jewell is a Marketing and Public Relations Consultant at an ecofriendly marketing firm in Media. With a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Immaculata University, Jacqueline loves the world of broadcast media and compelling raw news stories. Jacqueline loves to write poetry, song lyrics, and as well as short stories. When Jacqueline is not writing or working, she usually spends her time with her loving son, going hiking in state parks, playing basketball, painting, dancing, and watching science fiction thriller films. Jacqueline’s heroes include Walter Cronkite, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Margaret Fuller.