My parents ran the village shop and Post Office in a rural community. We did stock a very wide range of goods, but this was more than just an emporium – it was the centre of village life. We had a coke-burning stove and in the winter the farmers would come and warm their hands on the chimney pipe. There were so many ‘characters’ – those who would come several times a day and buy just one item each time; those who would come just before closing time and engage one of my parents in conversation; those who would ignore the shop hours totally and come to our back door!
This all seemed very unfair to me, but the response I got was always the same – to be grateful to these people because their money put the food on my plate. It seemed as though my parents lived in fear of offending (and more particularly my brother and I offending) a customer. What appeared to me to be grave injustices were swept under the carpet of duty and inevitability.
On the rare occasions when I was allowed to go to other people’s houses my parents’ parting words would be, “don’t make a nuisance of yourself and remember to say thank you for having me.” On my return the first question was, “did you make a nuisance of yourself?”… and sometimes “did you have a nice time?!”
This was so confusing. Couldn’t they see what a glorious little girl I was, so full of fun? In later years I came to question whether in fact they knew how glorious they were. I don’t think they ever realised how loved they were: I can distinctly remember longing to tell them that as a child, part of me bemused that adults who were supposed to know everything, didn’t know that.
Many years later when my mother had to go for radiotherapy treatments following a cancer operation, she refused in-patient care and went on the bus every day. She didn’t ask anyone for help… she didn’t want to be a nuisance! The villagers would have been horrified if they knew, after all the care and compassion they had received from my parents over the years.
However in later life I found that they were just repeating their own parents’ pattern and making sure that my brother and I were well trained in the life formula to put everyone else first… and not to be a nuisance. Obviously that is what they thought worked.
So I went through life assiduously applying the formula, and being nice. My calculations to assess the nuisance quotient when I was asked my preference would include:
- What others might want to do
- What costs were involved
- How much time it would take
- What would it then stop others from doing?
I spent most of my working life putting the client first, going the extra mile, sometimes working through the night. Adrenal exhaustion finally caught up with me and I could no longer work. I told very few people – well, I didn’t want to be a nuisance!
And then my body shouted a little louder – I got cancer. Again I told few people, but a dear friend I did tell suggested that I meet up with Serge Benhayon.
He asked me to consider how much I valued and loved myself, and through the Esoteric Practitioners and fellow students I was offered huge support to explore the answer and change my choices. That is what I have been doing since.
It has been (and is) such a journey to undo the ‘nice-ness’ that I had embodied so well, to open up to the love that is there inside me and what that means in everyday life.
Thanks to Universal Medicine and the inspiration and support of fellow students I am beginning to accept that I have a unique contribution to make to the huge jigsaw that is humanity.
If I hold back then the puzzle can never be finished. If I try to make myself as others, the puzzle will never be complete. Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? If I don’t, then there will be a hole.
So that would really make me a nuisance, when I am not being all of the me that I can be!
by Kathie Johnson, Leamington Spa, UK
697 thoughts on “From ‘Don’t be a Nuisance’ to Claiming Myself – an Ongoing Journey”
Not wanting to be a nuisance is something that I somehow adopted also Kathie, probably came from a few areas of my life . . . my catholic upbringing and the subservient christian beliefs that came from that, my family life where I had the feeling that we, as children were considered too much, and a given up feeling that I had had most of my life. What I have come to realise is that subservience is a form of control .
“What I have come to realise is that subservience is a form of control .” Thank you for sharing this, very true. I have been making myself less a lot too in my life in the name of ‘I am not good enough’ but what we are actually doing is controlling life so it is not too much asking us to be responsible and grow!
I love this blog Kathie, it is one of my favourites. I particularly love the last line . . ” So that would really make me a nuisance, when I am not being all of the me that I can be!” . . . That would be a nuisance as we would not have had this great blog from you!
Yes well said Kathleen, I would rather be called a ‘nuisance’ than be called ‘nice’.
I had to laugh at your calculations of the nice formula because I so related to it and can still run through this lightening checklist of how my decision is likely to affect others before I voice my choice. Yet I have now also had experience of speaking up and saying what is really true for me in a situation and how this has expanded what is available for others to choose. I know which I prefer but it is amazing how my default can still be what fits in with others but at least I clock it more quickly now and can often voice this and thus give others the opportunity of reconsidering.
Interesting that not being a nuisance includes withholding information from other people, for example, about our state of health. These patterns are so engrained in so many that it is actually quite inspiring when someone is honest enough to own up to not being well or coping but I know for myself that I used to find it almost impossible to be expose myself in this way in case I was judged or rejected. Learning to become more real and admit when I didn’t feel well or felt overwhelmed has been interesting because I have received so much loving support and also feel more connected to others but yet I can still hold back because I have this distorted image that I want to maintain my independence?! We are all totally interdependent as beautifully illustrated by your puzzle analogy and I joyfully accept my responsibility to contribute to the jigsaw of life and not hold back in any way.
“She didn’t ask anyone for help… she didn’t want to be a nuisance!” When we stop to consider this way of thinking it is very selfish as it is preventing others from sharing and expressing love and support.
Thank you Mary, yes, when I recall all the joy I have had from supporting others why would I take this away from anyone
When you focus all your energy on not being a nuisance there is no space in your day to appreciate and express your true spunky and innately wise self.
Holding back doesn’t work, we can only try and fit in or hide for so long, but like you say it’s EXHAUSTING! It’s so much simpler just to say – world this is who I am – take it or leave it.
Like actors in a play we have developed many ways, of presenting what people might want to hear. We say words and phrases that will get us accepted like magic passwords to a special club. We’ve based whole traditions and cultures on this performance of politeness and ‘the right thing to do’ yet in the end, all of this just gets in the way of you being you. And what if this is simply what we are here to do? I feel Kathie as you have shown, there may be a tension that comes up when we take away this niceness charade, but better this awkwardness than the pretension that everything is fine and dandy, when clearly it is not.
‘Many years later when my mother had to go for radiotherapy treatments following a cancer operation, she refused in-patient care and went on the bus every day. She didn’t ask anyone for help… she didn’t want to be a nuisance! The villagers would have been horrified if they knew, after all the care and compassion they had received from my parents over the years.’ This is a well-known way of reacting amongst many of us – we extend aid and care front, back and to both sides, but when it comes to our own crunch we carry on trying to be independent. It makes me wonder where the aid and care for others was coming from in the first place if we don’t love ourselves enough to ask for help and think we are a trouble or nuisance.
“I have a unique contribution to make to the huge jigsaw that is humanity.” This needs to be written in huge letters on everyone’s fridge door! Perhaps then we might start, as you have Kathie, to accept that every single one of us is a vital and equally important part of the whole of humanity.
Kathie, I love in particular your last two concluding sentences. Realising what life is really about, simply being ‘me’ in everything we do, so a true reflection is there for everyone to see giving us all the opportunity to see the bigger picture more clearly and our part in it.
Kathie I should also not be a nuisance in my childhood because of the customer coming to my parents hairdresser’s shop. But I chose to be so rebelling that my parents did not allow me to enter their shop as my hairstyle was not a good advertisement for them. My experience was that being a rebel was also not a good choice. Therefore I love what you have shared about the jigsaw and I have to say I love the idea to be a part of it as well.
When we serve others, we need to make sure that we do it in a way that it doesn’t harm us. Clearly many people were drawn to the atmosphere of the village store but it would have been vital to set boundaries.
Thank you Kathie for sharing so openly, I have also learnt to drop the ‘niceness’ that was instilled in me growing up allowing me to more true and to deepen the relationship with myself and others.
I like the analogy of being a special piece of the puzzle Kathie. If we are not us the puzzle can not be completed. This puts a responsibility in bringing all of us. Not settling for complacency or hiding behind being nice and not a nuisance. Your are right Kathie, we have tried for generations the” pettiness”, it is time to stand in our grandness. Lets see how this plays out. See you in the big picture Kathie.
Quite bizarre that we all go into “nice” when we know how uncomfortable it really is because we can feel what’s going on underneath. We are naturally much more at ease with somebody who is truly being themselves because that then allows us to do the same.
We are all a very precious piece of the jigsaw and if we don’t feel this it is great to remind ourselves so we can truly live that.
The belief system behind ‘don’t be a nuisance’ or imposing our needs on people is ingrained in our national psyche. It’s beginning to wane in the headlights of customer service, which has shifted the emphasis back to the consumer. But the lack of self worth behind ‘don’t be a nuisance’ still prevails as a legacy from our collective families instilling successive generations in the importance of not making social waves, fitting in and being seen as respectable and upright. For many, the very idea of putting self before others is regarded as completely selfish, especially by the elderly. The irony is, this keeps us from being and supporting ourselves and everyone misses out as a result.
I just loved reading your blog Katie, and can so relate to being nice and the nuisance word. This is why for me the “sorry” word was very much in my speaking. If something went wrong, though not my fault, I would say sorry, if I needed to ask someone something, I would first say sorry. It was as if I was sorry to everybody for being here on the earth plane. It is a work in progress to come to value and love who I am and what I bring to this world, I too am a piece in the puzzle of humanity, that without which it cannot be whole.
Totally awesome blog Kathie. When we weave being nice as our priority through our daily lives in a way that puts everyone else before us at our expense, it not only eventually chokes our own sense of self worth but can compromise the health of our relationships with others and our own personal sense of wellbeing and health.
I remember the phrase “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” I have a feeling it came from Thumper the rabbit in the Walt Disney version of Bambi. I am not sure but I can remember thinking at the time that this was cool and yet not so cool. I wanted to take on this way but it didn’t feel right. It was used to try to silence me at home and much later in life, in my thirties I had a very cool boyfriend who, when I did not say what he wanted to hear would say “Be nice” in such a sweet tone that it had me confused again, doubting and thinking that being nice and not speaking up might be the better way.
When I am truly being me, there is no nuisance in what I say or present to other people in my life. Becasue there is acceptance and love in me, what comes out is simple, clear and possible for others to hear. When I speak from a hurt it leads to reaction and contraction for all involved. This really is a public nuisance to me. Thank you Kathie.
Kathie what you share is very inspiring and reminds us that it is possible to change any ingrained patterns that hold us back by making loving choices that truly support us.
I can relate to this belief system Kathie – it somehow became deeply entrenched into my psyche as well and I’m still unraveling the remainders of the tendrils to this day. Bringing love for ourselves to a situation can be a whole new concept but one we need to grasp to avoid doing ourselves (and others) untold harm. I love your parting comment in relation to leaving a hole in the jigsaw of humanity if you don’t play your part: “So that would really make me a nuisance, when I am not being all of the me that I can be!” This applies to each and every one of us.
It is such a powerful belief this ‘not wanting to be a nuisance’. On the surface it appears so loving and caring but the irony is that it is totally the opposite. You sum this up so well in the your last but one paragraph and with the final sentence, “So that would really make me a nuisance, when I am not being all of the me that I can be!”
Kathie I loved reading your blog. How capping it is for children to be told ‘Don’t be a Nuisance’ and how it then plays out in later life because we have it so ingrained that we continue the cycle. We hold back in fear of being a nuisance until we break the cycle.
I can so relate to what you have said Sally and Kathie. That ‘Don’t be a Nuisance’, which is really a form of controlling so that there will be ‘order’, but not true order, was ingrained in me – not by my parents, but somewhere outside that I don’t know where. But it was strong. What a debilitating disease of being! A truly vile contraction preventing true ease of being and real love.
Kathie, you have exposed one of the most overlooked and damaging ‘ways’ of being and living – being nice and being good. After generations you are changing this pattern for those around you and those to come – The puzzle will one day be complete, no holding back here. Thank you Kathie.
how deeply is niceness embedded within us and in our society, and how crippling and insidious it really is.
So true Chris.
What confusing messages we receive as children. The message I got was to be seen and not heard, until I was about 15 then suddenly I was meant to be able to converse intelligently with others and mix comfortably in their presence. Thank you Kathie for your sharing.
A remarkable journey of self acceptence and appreciation, thanks Kathie
What a great analogy at the end of your blog. I agree with you, you are a vital piece of the puzzle, at no point should you consider not valuing the enormous part that you play because the hole will be all the more empty without you being you.
This is a great blog Katie, I can so relate to what you are sharing. I didn’t want to be a nuisance so I kept myself small, deferring to everyone else, this too made me a nice person. I had little self worth until coming to Universal Medicine and finding out, that I am worth loving, I am worth putting my self and my needs first, and like you said, I too am an equal piece of the puzzle and have a place and value in this life.
I too ran this pattern Jill– keeping small, not being a trouble to anyone, not speaking up so as to keep ‘harmony’ which was actually a false harmony. What a way to hide and protect myself from the world – a total mask. What a crime this is against myself, God and humanity. Now I am rediscovering what is there within, what I can choose to bring to any conversation or situation – I have the option to align and choose that expression which brings something of service.
“So that would really make me a nuisance, when I am not being all of the me that I can be! ” – I just love that Kathie! Awesome blog, thank you.
‘I am beginning to accept that I have a unique contribution to make to the huge jigsaw that is humanity. If I hold back then the puzzle can never be finished. IF I TRY TO MAKE MYSELF AS OTHERS, THE PUZZLE WILL NEVER BE COMPLETE. Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? If I don’t, then there will be a hole.’ The resonance of these words inside me leaves me speechless. Thank you Kathie, I truly love your blog.
I am pleased you have re-written it all because reading it again I just love that section. I often talk about the colours of the rainbow and when we don’t shine our particular colour of the rainbow just won’t be quite right. But that jigsaw piece is far more solid as a clear picture for why we must absolutely value our part in the bigger plan.
“How much do I value and love myself” as you say is a great question to ask ourselves Ariana. Kathie you have taken time to work with this and I loved your wisdom that we all have a unique contribution to make to humanity. I used to think that loving oneself was selfish, I now realise that when we value ourselves we value and appreciate others equally. Agree Ariana, to stop this cycle is very powerful.
Lovely Kathie I love what you share especially this question: “Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits?” Definitely yes you are such a key piece and it is important that you fill it out – perhaps we all have to fill it out – otherwise we will get even more lost in our loveless life. It is time that all of us see and live the true purpose we have and share it with the world. Imagine how the world would be.
‘If I try to make myself as others’ when I read this phrase Kathie I can feel the exhaustion that goes with trying to change ourselves to be just like someone else, to please, to be nice, to not rock the boat and in essence, to not be seen. It is the complete opposite of what we now know as the truth, to be in the glory of who we are. And see our beauty, embrace our loveliness, and our immense ability to be this amazing love no matter what. Work in progress? Yes a forever evolving love together.
My experience of being nice, polite and not making a nuisance of myself enabled me to hide, to not rock the boat or expose anything that should have been exposed. In truth it was of no benefit to anyone and was detrimental to me. Niceness just allows things that are not so nice to continue unchecked.
It crazy how we have set our lives up to identify ourselves as being less first, such a being nuisance. And so we over compensated with an apologetic niceness so as to excuse ourselves for not being enough. Yet as I have also discovered, we are so much more and the glorious-ness we are within immense. And when we connect to and claim the love we already are within, that truly is a joy to be with, and around.
So true Kathie. I grew up with being nice and not being a nuisance and it was not until I listened to presentations by Serge Benhayon that I understood how limiting this is and prevented others and me from knowing who I am. The truth of who I am is an equal piece of the jigsaw puzzle of life.
As you said Kathy the villagers would have been horrified if they found out she went by bus each time for radiotherapy treatments. In a way it is quite selfish to not allow an opportunity for another to support you. Often the other can be left feeling they are not good enough. It is great for all parties concerned to allow, give and receive support.
Being ‘nice’ is an ideal we have to live up to. If we have no ideals about how to be there can be no anxiety. The pressure to be nice is self inflicted and stops any meaningful connection, conservation and organic growth in a relationship.
Kathie I just LOVE LOVE LOVE what you’ve written here, if there ever was a guide for life upon birth, this sentence should be included: “I have a unique contribution to make to the huge jigsaw that is humanity. If I hold back then the puzzle can never be finished. If I try to make myself as others, the puzzle will never be complete. Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? If I don’t, then there will be a hole.”
Kathie my parent’s modelled ‘niceness’ too, as did my grandparents, it is indeed passed down and has the undertone of apology. I recall always feeling uncomfortable in other people’s houses because I was trying to guess what was the right way to behave. I love how you’ve come to the understanding that we are all equally important aspects of the whole, and that we need make no excuses to anyone for being who we are.
No excuses at all. Isn’t it odd when we see it written in black and white that we would want to apologise for ourselves? I just can’t imagine asking my children to apologise for who they are but I have definitely asked them to be good and polite. I have been that mother, thank goodness I know now and I can set things straight.
I enjoyed reading your blog again Kathie, and what stood out for me is the formulas of how to get through life are past from one generation to another. We take direction from our parents without questioning, we may have a moment when something doesn’t feel right but then we follow their lead anyway and then from there form a picture of what that looks like to us, which governs how we behave.
I know I have also done this and some of my mothers behaviours which I didn’t like later on in life, I have since discovered that I was doing the exact same thing but just with a slightly different flavour. The words ‘The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree’ come to mind.
Absolutely Julie – the patterns and behaviours that surround us as we grow up, especially from parents, are the very ones to be alert to as they are the ones passed on from generation to generation. It is so important to use our discernment about how wise these patterns are. Some of them are amazing wisdom to inherit (such as’ Early to bed early to rise . . ‘) and some of them are just downright destructive! We can’t rely on on a formula just because it has some ancient history behind it – those may be the formulas that have kept us repeating the same old destructive patterns over and over again.
When I was a teenager I saw the behaviour of sacrifice in my mother, always putting everyone’s needs before hers. I reacted and decided to not be that way but guess what I repeated her behaviour in a different flavour and maybe less obvious but I did it for years and years. I only was able to truly see what I was doing to myself and others when I started to attend courses of Universal Medicine and got sessions (especially the Esoteric Breast Massage) from Esoteric practitioners) and even then I was pretty stubborn in letting go of this ingrained behaviour. On the other hand as you have pointed out Lyndy my mother had an amazing wisdom to share and I learned so much from her being my mother.
On re-reading your blog Kathie it is so refreshing to have it explained why the ‘playing nice’ game is actually harming ourselves and others and that our attempts to not be a problem or a nuisance is actually not changing anything but just colluding in the same behaviours that we do not like. So by trying not to be a problem we are in fact the problem!
It’s true Andrew, the playing nice game is a definite problem in today’s society for when we don’t ask for the help and support when we need it, there can be expensive repercussions on our own health.
Seems to me Suse that in reality the effect of ‘being nice’ is the complete antithesis of what we have been lead to believe
Concerning Serge Benhayon “He asked me to consider how much I valued and loved myself,…” a question that I have I heard also and my response was so dependent on how honest I was when I looked at my life and how I much I could truly feel if I did or did not care for myself. At the beginning of this ongoing development that I have become more committed to, I was only scratching the surface of my lack of care and disregard for myself, there where glaringly obvious ways hat I did not care for myself, and as these have been dropped and more self care has come in, I have been able to look at the more subtle ways that I have not been caring for myself. In this way, dropping the habits of what could be called ‘self abuse’ be it staying up to late even if I am really tired, getting anger and feeling adrenaline coursing through my body, eating food that numbs me and that I get a quick buzz from but no true nourishment. Now I can feel more subtle ways that I still can undermine myself, by walking with a hardness, gesticulating with my hands with an edge or with a defence, or tapping on computer keys with a lack of care. It evolves, the more self love lived exposes the lack of care and as we drop the habits of
disregard, more self love and love for all blossoms and grows and so a foundation of love is built that supports daily life. I wouldn’t have it any other way now, it is the way I wish to live my life, I am feeling more restored, more myself all the time.
Thanks for writing about your evolution Samantha and yes, what a way to live our lives, it feels like there will always be another layer that we can identify and move through. I agree with you ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way now, it is the way I wish to live my life’
“He asked me to consider how much I valued and loved myself,” this is a question many of us never ask ourselves Kathie, and your words show how life can change when we ask it of ourselves. Thank you for sharing your experience of Universal Medicine, it has been a life-changer for me too.
This section “He asked me to consider how much I valued and loved myself,” stopped me to ponder too Bernadette. We can always go deeper, there is always so much more to unfold – what a gift to ourselves to regularly revisit this question from a place of honesty.
I agree Brendan, and to add to the ‘bizarre score’ we all know what it’s like to stand on the side lines and watch others decline our support!!
Thank you Kathie, so true, without each of us the puzzle would be less, always remain incomplete, never whole, and the bigger picture not seen in the entirety of its fullness and grandness.
At times I still struggle with the “niceness” and stoic approach to life.
Your blog Kathie is a lovely gentle reminder to express from my body and to not absorb the emotions and situations of others.
It is easy to see how we develop these patterns in childhood; but how freeing it is now, as adults, we can break these destructive patterns and make loving self nurturing choices.
Kathy, when you explained how you calculated the nuisance factor in any response to a request for your preferences, I realised that this had been deeply ingrained in me too, although perhaps not using the word nuisance. I did and to an extent, still do a very similar calculation, I just hadn’t realised it. What I felt when I read your blog was how debilitating and ‘squashing’ it is to me when I do this, and how it feels like living in quick sand. I could also feel how difficult it must be to try and respond to my calculated expressions of preferences which do not contain any truth. I can recall many situations where everyone was trying to guess what everyone else really wanted, because no truth was being spoken by anyone. My goodness, how exhausting!
A lovely sharing with us Kathie and one I feel so many of us can relate too. I’m not sure what being ‘nice’ is – it feels like the word ‘fine’ or ‘ok’ it’s a word that does not really give a clear indication/description of what is being expressed/felt! I was told often as a child to be nice, be good,behave or even don’t be a nuisance – not enjoy, have fun or be all of you, that would of been a joy to of felt getting out of the car being dropped off at school or friends houses.
What a nuisance ‘nice-ness’ is!
Oh Yes Jonathan – ‘niceness’ is such a strong consciousness that can mould and sculpt our every move and drives the reactions we have to life when it doesn’t fit into our nice ideals about the way life should be. That reaction, in turn, causes us to withdraw from life and so we hold back on our love and our vascular system suffers. I know it first hand!
Absolutely Jonathan and the sneaky thing is that it poses as being a ‘social grace’. How many children are encouraged by their parents to play nicely? I have auditory antennae now tuned to pick up on the word nice, still developing the sensory ones!
What a great Quote Jonathan – there is a whole blog in that 🙂 “What a nuisance ‘nice-ness’ is” by JS. I wonder if we interviewed a stack of people and asked them, “how is nice-ness a nuisance?” what kind of responses we would get – some pretty funny and amazing ones I am sure. For me people being nice to me in times of loss is a nuisance, there is a genuine difference between someone who is truly caring for you in times of need and someone doing it to just be ‘nice’. One is supportive and the other is not, the nice one can feel like a drain like you have to support them too.
It is an unusual but inspiring concept to think of ourselves as an integral piece of the puzzle, one that requires us to be all we are and bring all we have to the table and not hold back, for ourselves and for others…. It takes responsibility and the power of interconnectedness to a whole other level.
Thank you Kathie for your testimony: being nice does not work. Not only do we have to override a world of things in order to get a return from our being nice, but also we do not help anybody because we offer a convenient reflection to them, one in which they feel comfortable and safe even if the state of being goes along forms of ill being.
Kathie I love your puzzle analogy. As I was reading your piece, I got a sense of how when I hold back from being all of me with another, it can stop them from knowing and feeling all of who they are, as they can miss out on a true reflection.
I agree Annie, insidious when I thought that the holding back was actually part of being ‘nice and kind’ where in fact it is the opposite, spreading confusion.
If we try and be nice, we are putting so much energy into that and forcing our body and ourselves to be a certain way, but when we are natural we simply express what we feel and it doesn’t require any trying. The more I express that way the more I know how true it is, and can feel when I am just ‘ being nice’.
Great point Harry – it is exhausting trying to be nice and it also really negatively impacts on our expression. We are naturally designed to express how we feel, but when we are programmed to be nice we moderate what we feel to say and instead of supporting another with the truth we play it down by playing nice. We are missing a lot of what we need to hear because of ‘nice’.
Up until now, for most people, there has been an endless ongoing cycle of unhealed hurts affecting generation after generation, back into antiquity. Now, however, Universal Medicine is presenting a way out of the endless maze by breaking the cycle of hurt and reaction in each individual by demonstrating how to live in a way that supports who we truly are. This is the true doorway back to our inner hearts and the divine nature of our true being.
Great puzzle metaphor Kathie and how true that we all have a uniqueness we bring to the whole piece, without which life is the lesser, creating missed opportunities for others and unfulfilled potential in ourselves.
Thanks Cathy. When I think of how much time and effort I put into being ‘nice’ as a way of helping others, instead of letting them see the real shape of the piece that I bring to the puzzle …. how misleading was that?!
I can still occasionally full into the being nice pattern, but I am now more aware of it so it happens less and less. As my true puzzle piece chips away the old patterns and beliefs, it reveals its real shape with love and patience. Thank you for this brilliant blog Kathie.
Great Kelly, as your jigsaw shape becomes more clear, we can all see more clearly how we fit into the puzzle.
It amazes me that a child’s truth and joy can ever be called a ‘nuisance’… However, This has been going on for generations and generations as the honesty and awareness of children have always exposed what wasn’t true in life – only to be ‘shut down’ and told to stop exposing the falseness they see all around them.
‘He asked me to consider how much I valued and loved myself’ – we cannot inspire others if we don’t value and appreciate all that we are first, for ourselves. It feels beautiful to have this self appreciation as a part of our foundation.
I agree, self appreciation and self valuing, how far away from the old ‘selfish’ label. I am always reminded when the oxygen mask instructions are broadcast on a flight, if travelling with children put your own mask on first, then you will be fit to support others.
‘Stop the nice-ness and open up to love.’ Great turn around for you and to realize you are far from being a nuisance. Great that you are bringing you in full to the world now in your unique expression. Keep on expanding!
Yes, agree! ..and I love the picture with the puzzle !!! So, yes, when I take time to care and connect to my beautiful essence lovingly I have a good foundation to express my all throughout the day and contribute my part of the puzzle.
It’s so true Kathie… The biggest stumbling block to so many people have is when they’re asked to actually take time to themselves in their daily life, just to look after themselves for 10 minutes in the morning, to be nurturing of themselves such a short time, brings up guilt and so many issues… it is so good to be writing about this and bring it into the open because we are all worth it.. to start truly looking after ourselves.
Yes, interesting Chris, I wonder how many of those people would think nothing of getting up 10 minutes early to ensure they got to an important meeting with another person…yet what can be more important than meeting ourselves?
And could this aversion we have that prevents us nurturing and truly taking care of ourselves in our daily life be one of the biggest variables that is feeding our current escalating health stats?
I agree, Suse, moving from the ingrained label of selfish to an investment in self worth can be very freeing
So true, when we hold back we enable others to do them same. If we start living all that we are other people will feel the difference and maybe make a choice to live all that they are.
What a scourge ‘niceness’ is, not to mention the ‘don’t be a nuisance’ mentality… as if considering yourself was some sort of evil. The truth is, it’s a form of evil not to consider yourself first and foremost and we’ve all been sold a pup if we believe to do so is selfish and a sin.
So well said and that belief of being a nuisance pops up again. By not speaking up and asking for help we are harming ourselves and as Kathie shared this harm goes deeper than would could possibly imagine.
Hi Kathy, me reading this is very timely as I find myself struggling to honour who I am because I have played the nice card also for so long now. It is a mind game out there in the world when you’re confronted with so many different situations and requirements of people. I am though learning to honour and appreciate and listen to myself and honour my feelings which is changing my whole reality and world. I deeply resonate with your blog.
Kathie, such a beautiful sharing you have written here. There is so much power in the lived truth of your words that so exposes, that no amount of niceness or politeness can cut it with our own very wise and knowing inner heart.
Wow! beautifully said Julie.
Your description of your parents feels quite playful yet also quite sad. That they were unable to see how glorious they were. We are never taught to celebrate ourselves, it is in fact frowned upon, but imagine how glorious we could all feel were we to support each other to do just this. Great to hear you are doing so Kathie and becoming a key part of the jigsaw puzzle.
Thank you Stephen, yes supporting each other in our glory is glorious and I know makes a difference to not just me, but those around me, as we all to start to truly appreciating who we are.
Yes Kathie, as Otto says this is a gigantic inspiration to every single piece of the puzzle.
Thank you for that sharing full of clarity, joy and appreciation. It is contagious.
Yes I see this in my families ways too, who also have English heritage.
It has taken me to this point in my life to be able to really give this to myself without feeling shaken by their criticism of my choices. And beautifully, it opens up the possibility that they can begin doing the same.
I can certainly put my hand up for charge on solo Brendan, and understand, ‘that we are naturally designed to work together, and not to do it all on our own’, something I am starting to embrace.
Dear Kathie, Anyone who can write these words… “If I hold back then the puzzle can never be finished. If I try to make myself as others, the puzzle will never be complete. Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? If I don’t, then there will be a hole.”….is not just a key piece of the puzzle but is also a gigantic inspiration to every single other piece of the puzzle. With so much appreciation for everything that you are and for what these words have brought to me. Otto.
One of my mothers’ ‘mantras’ has always been – I don’t want to be a burden – and this message has certainly filtered into my ideals and beliefs. I appreciate what you have shared here Kathy – opening up to being more self-loving and self-nurturing is a truly wonderful way of being.
Richard I too have heard the ‘don’t want to be a burden’ mantra so many times. With my family it seemed that trying to work out what was really happening was far more of a burden than if we had just felt able to speak out.
It is interesting Richard how that phrase ‘I don’t want to be a burden ‘ can go both ways. Often when one feels like a burden on others it can mean that they actually find others a burden. When I connected to my love and began giving up all these insane mantras about ‘not being a burden’ I found that I also increasingly welcomed in people and did not find them a burden at all!
Very often Brendan. In fact the ability to charge on solo is for many many considered a measure of success. How wrong we have been.
Nature is full of creatures which though individually are only a few millimetres in length, have a combined strength which can move large edifices.
I think you are talking about ants right! Best life coaches there are on how to work together as a team.
Gorgeous Dean! Ants – our educators in team work. No wonder people have tried to denigrate them and make up words like ‘antsy’, which is the exact opposite of what they daily demonstrate in the magic of God.
Yes Lyndy! Belittling ants by calling them antsy… it’s quite telling. Ants, like people, are highly under-rated. They are very small in relation to the earth and in very large numerous numbers. Yet ants are a little different to people, Every single one of them works eternally together for the purpose of the group and the result is staggering. They move mountains of soil and affect bio-systems hundreds of times their size.
Imagine that, ants work together more closely than people do – and we are supposed to be more evolved!
What a gorgeous, powerful sharing Kathie, love your playfulness.
Thank you Kathie for showing how being nice can hold us back from playing our own unique role in the ‘puzzle’ that is humanity. I like the point you made “when I am truly being me others can see where their part of the puzzle fits”. Before Universal Medicine I felt like a puzzle piece in someone else’s hands – being placed here or there to fit in with their picture of who I should be.. A nice little girl. It always felt like an uncomfortable fit. Steadily, I am now taking opportunities to say what I feel, allowing me to be more of the true me. It is beautiful to see how those around me are making their own adjustments to find their own natural fit in the ‘puzzle’. Kathie, it seems the glorious little girl has claimed her rightful place.
The line “don’t be a nuisance” can pop in on so many occasions to justify why we should hold back. The more I don’t hold back, even on the smallest of things, the more I get to see the magic that unfolds right in front of my eyes.
I agree Vicky, this line “don’t be a nuisance” made me dismiss what I felt on so many occasions and it makes such a difference to not hold back and allow myself to fully shine. So thank you Kathie for sharing your story! I am learning more and more how important it is to celebrate who I am.
I have done exactly the same Judith and I love how Kathie’s blog highlights that exact phrase ‘don’t be a nuisance’, instead of saying the same in some abstract way. That phrase brings it all home graphically about how we have been apologising for breathing the air and taking up space. It is over now and we are storming the gates of Heaven!
Wow Lyndy, yes…and have you noticed how many others are coming along in our wake as we express and claim who we truly are?
It is almost like we don’t know how to do it differently, it feels like it is impossible, or the world will stop, when in fact new doors can open up should we choose to leave the old habit behind! It is also about letting go.
Interesting Alexandre when I reflect on how small some of the changes seem now, yet I recall how huge they appeared at the time. Going from fear of what might be behind the next door to opening it with the joy of what will be waiting there is one of the many gifts that Universal Medicine has brought.
Kathie, You’ve really changed a long engrained pattern in your family. We learn so much from our families ways to survive, ways they’ve learned and yet often these don’t celebrate who we are and may not even be appropriate for us. I love that you’ve changed that and how you’ve come to appreciate that you are a unique piece of a larger puzzle that is us all – indeed we all are, you remind me that I am too.
“The Nuisance Quotient”, that is hilarious!! This would be so relevant to many people that have been effected by and developed high rating on the nuisance quotient!! At the same time, it is very sad that so many people have been capped by this way of thinking and treating ourselves and each other!! Thankyou for bringing some humour to this.
I felt a great deal of sadness behind this form of niceness. Definitely not the natural exuberance and playfulness children have, but years of suppression and keeping a lid on how amazing we are by holding ourselves back. It led me to ponder, what a disservice it is to others, as well as great harm to ourselves.
I find it so interesting that our bodies show us exactly how we are living and what isn’t working or true for us, the signals are always there.
Kathie, I love the puzzle analogy here…with one piece no more and no lesser than another…each an essential part of the bigger picture….beautiful, thank you
Wise words Brendan. When asking for support we perhaps view we are being a burden yet in many ways it’s part of being open and allowing another to be a loving support. In many cases it offers a deeper and more true feeling and connection between us. Perhaps it also starts to dissolve the illusion that we must do things alone and not show any vulnerability.
Wise words Brendan. It is so important to ask for support when we need it. It makes no sense to fly solo when we are surrounded by people. It’s great Kathy that you are now opening to the support of humanity, no longer feeling like a nuisance, and enjoying your contribution.
I just re-read this title and felt the pang of how important it is for parents to be very aware of what they are saying, either with their words, actions or energetically to kids. These messages (like being a nuisance) can be throw away lines for the parent but can cut so deep for the children. These comments then make their way into our subconscious to affect the way we are in the world and what we then pass onto our kids.
Kathie, you are right. For me it actually is a ‘nuisance’ when others are not being their true self. I don’t know where I stand when them. And I am quite sure that when I am trying to fit in, be nice or in anyway unnatural that I am the biggest nuisance too.
“Many years later when my mother had to go for radiotherapy treatments following a cancer operation, she refused in-patient care and went on the bus every day. She didn’t ask anyone for help… she didn’t want to be a nuisance! ”
Until I read this, I did not realise how mad I had been – driving myself to radiotherapy sessions for cancer before work and then driving myself back to work for the day.
On the last day of treatment, I allowed my husband to come with me, allowed myself to feel the enormity of what I was going through for a moment, and had a complete meltdown. And then I went to work.
And, like your mother, it was because I did not want to be a nuisance (or feel what I was actually going through).
Thank you, Kathie, for taking the time to express yourself in such a way that I was able to stop and truly feel this.
“Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? ”
A vital part of the puzzle, indeed you are, as we all are.
Thanks Anne, just realised that I drove myself to radiotherapy! I justified it by not wanting the cloud of sympathy from relatives and friends that I felt hanging heavily over the waiting room not to envelop me….but maybe the old nuisance patterns were in there too.
Wow Anne, that’s huge. I made a comment below about how we’ve been sold a lie in terms of taking on the belief that we’re not worthy of putting ourselves first. It must have been amazing to discover you still held a version of this yourself. Thank you for sharing honestly.
Annemalatt, thank you for sharing this, and in doing so highlighting what I have been feeling – which is just how extraordinary it is to read and comment on these blogs – because they seem to offer just the insight or clarity that is needed, and at just the right time. The breadth and depth of wisdom, and also beauty that is available to us through what is shared is truly amazing, and quite touching.
Thank you Kathie, for this gorgeous blog. I loved every word of it. And the revelation at the end – that if we choose to hold back, to be nice, to be liked, to make ourselves less, then we leave everyone else, and the whole, less. And that would be a nuisance!
I, too, know it to be true Mary, but I still have to watch having sympathy with clients and it is an on-going process to me.
Thank you Kathie for your great article. This sentence stood out for me with a deep sense of responsibility but also a beautiful feeling of belonging and equality, “Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? If I don’t, then there will be a hole.” When we are all truly being ourselves every movement, every word spoken, every gesture will fit perfectly.
Thank you, Kathie. Your words have helped me accept at a deeper level how every choice we make has a direct effect on everything around us, and that the smallest detail of the way we live is super important in terms of the bigger picture. One way that I can still be irresponsible is with food, and now I get that even overeating by one extra mouth-full can make a difference, if it is not needed.
A great distinction Janet between what we choose to eat and the old paradigm of clearing our plates as against what our bodies actually need, thank you
Yes Janet, I guess we can use nearly everything on this world to make the big picture unsharp and untruthful. So it is not so much what we do but how and why we do it. What is the purpose of my actions? To shine as glory as I am naturally or to control and hide? Is my intention to let us evolve or to hold back?
What I love in the article from Kathie is how she discovers how important it is that we live and express our true selves for us and all. And we can feel the joy and strength that comes with taking this responsibility. It is an unfolding, a blossoming. We become more beautiful, more joyful and graceful with every true expression. No control can do that for us. It’s a surrendering and it’s Magic.
Just as I was reading your comment Sandra I suddenly realised what an insane word ‘control’ is. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. When we are ‘controlling’ we are in fact the absolute opposite from being in control. Because it isn’t us. It isn’t who we are. So how can we be in control? It’s like any of the back three members of a bob-sleigh team saying they are in control because they push the wagon at the top of the hill. In fact, whilst we are on this metaphor, not even the driver is in control and he has the steering handles in his hands! It’s crazy this illusion. If you are ‘in control’ you are in fact a total puppet of the roles, ideals and emotions that are making you want to ‘control’ and even if you appear to have the ability to steer in your hands, you are totally at the mercy of the twists and turns and direction of the ice tube of life that you are hurtling down. Control??!! We couldn’t be less in control!!!
Yes Ottobathurst – by choosing ‘control’ we choose the arrogance of thinking we can make it, create it better then the divine plan. We choose to stay alone, not longer connected to our own divinity and disconnected to our brothers. Control and Creation are an illusion of “I can do it” and in fact the illusion of “I” itself. In truth we are all parts of the whole, parts of God and our way is already clear and planned. That what is working against the plan gives us the illusion of control to hold back divinity – but it is doomed to breakdown, sooner or later. Our divinity is the truth and all other stuff can just delay our Come-Back.
Jigsaw puzzles are fun and help us to be curious and focused and incredibly observant. What a very playful way to live life!
Reading your blog Kathie I can feel how I too grew up trying not to be a nuisance and to do that I made myself very small – so small in fact that the jigsaw piece I became would never have fitted in the whole puzzle. How lovely it is to drop all that niceness and trying to fit in and begin the return to being fully me – the exact shape needed to fit into the whole.
It seems paradoxical to me Jane that by not trying to fit in we actually become more of who we truly are…and then we do fit into the puzzle!
I agree Kathie – whats clear to me is that fitting in usually means playing a role that is not who we are. As we drop this, we just bring ourselves to the picture. Raw and open.
I can relate totally to what you say Kathie and Jane. This ‘trying to’ remain small and not upset any apple carts in any way, shape or form is a self protective way of living which serves absolutely no one, and certainly not ourselves. Attending presentations with Serge Benhayon has inspired me to be more honest with myself and this oust this previously irresponsible way of living. It is work in progress, but now I feel I am a unique piece in the whole jigsaw and it fits beautifully as I deepen the relationship with myself and the all.
Kathy, wonderful that you eventually met Serge Benhayon where it was suggested how you might consider how much you thought of and loved yourself, putting you on the path of looking at another completely different way of life. So many of us, especially in the older generation, were brought up to always put another first, I know I was, it was absolutely selfish to be otherwise. This came through in all sorts of ways, including the fact that I never really looked properly at myself in a mirror, it was regarded as selfish and sheer vanity to do so. It was not until I was also on the path of learning to actually love myself, that I looked into my own eyes and saw the huge potential that lay there. And of course, as we build that great body of love for ourselves, how wonderful it is now to share that with all that I/we come in contact with. A healing for others. So, no it is not selfish to learn to love and look after oneself. Thank you for your sharing, and being the wonderful woman that you now are.
Ha ha, I’ve always loved jigsaw puzzles too, and this is the piece that’s missing in life. It’s great for us to drop that very old pattern of excusing ourselves for our own existence and claiming all that we are. By being our whole, we are not allowing any holes anymore, and definitely not being a nuisance.
True Gill and it is in fact joy-full to be around someone who is being all that they are.