Retreat: People-Pleasing

The root of people-pleasing is trauma.

Deep-rooted trauma which isn’t only from this lifetime, but generations passed. As QTBIPOC, we each have our unique histories depending on our ancestries, to how this trauma chooses to manifest. It is important to acknowledge, pause, and take stock on how this connects with our addictions & dependencies. For many of us, our trauma is a main factor of why we fall into these vices.

For BIPOC, our addictions are a form of people pleasing. We please white people by making ourselves smaller & keeping ourselves from our boldest potential. In general many of our ancestors had to settle for less than they deserved. Many of our ancestors had to center the feelings & well-being of white folx over their own. Many of our ancestors may have stifled their own power through addictions and abusive behaviors themselves. And this cycle continues into our present lives until we choose to cut ties with it and step into our inherent worth.

We may feel over-responsible for the reactions or a response of white folx. We may feel like we want to be equitable and fair in a situation so we end up compromising our needs. We may feel scarcity so deep that we are too afraid to risk it all, so we end up settling for less than what we are worth, and feel resentment later on. We are so full of heart and may have a tendency to want to extend our niceness. A huge lesson for us to learn is that being nice at the expense of honoring our humanity is an abandonment of our spirits- which is essentially what we do each time we engage in harm against ourselves through this people-pleasing behavior to appease.

For us who struggle with addictive vices, learning to identify & regulate emotions is often a huge part of our journey when it comes to unpacking this unconscious & insidious people pleasing behavior. These emotions can often feel unsafe & uncomfortable in our bodies because of the intensity we may feel them.

Divine one, it is VALID to feel these emotions so strongly because often they are also the emotions left repressed from ancestors as well. These emotions come off so strongly because they are VALID responses to the injustices of systemic oppression we carry everyday.

However, people-pleasing whether that is drinking to keep the peace in a friend group, or saying yes to a compensation package which we feel hesitant about, is often as harmful to us as it is to others in our community. We may feel an amid of emotions from this-whether it is overwhelming guilt, inexplicable anger, or immense shame. We each must find our individual ways of moving it through, as well as being in community with those who can understand.

May I retreat back into my sacred energy & get to know what feels right in my own body, heart, soul, and spirit. May I stand unafraid for what I will lose when I begin to stand in my power, for it will only vmake space for what I deserve to gain. May I be generous with my wisdom, talents, energy, & time with those in actual community & solidarity with me, for it will bring a tenfold back to me.