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The People-Pleasing Peace

by Shannon Manning 2 months ago in social commentary

Poetry's Cure

The People-Pleasing Peace
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

She hides her pain, so her world can’t see, all she longs for, is just to be free. She groans and aches at the world’s scene, falsely giving the appearance of being mean, but in reality, that is something she wouldn't’ even dream. She wears a mask not for a disease, fully vaccinated, but infected with inferiority. Yet when she is alone, she finds her release. On the page, she can yell, dance, and scream-Poetry gives this beautiful butterfly her wings, and as she flaps away her anonymity, it is revealed she is me.

Me- that is a word I would rarely use, or express. Growing up the youngest of three, I had always felt that my role was to make everyone happy. I couldn't yell, couldn't have a dirty room, and if I ever got a B I would cry and cry because in my mind, I was now a disappointment. I was in fourth grade when I got my first B, I remember it vividly, and sad to say that was 16 years ago to this day. In my brain, I felt, If I shared my pain, it would all be in vain, because my job was to be there for others, to make my family proud, to live up to some unnecessary self-imposed expectation that they never set, but welcomed anyway. Not to say this people-pleaser mentality is all bad, I, in fact loved it, gave me a joy words can’t even describe. It led me to my Volunteer work that made my mind at ease, knowing I was doing it for others, and not just for myself. You see, I am someone described as a go-getter. I love helping people, that is not an understatement or something to say, just for show, but I genuinely love doing things for others. I love it even more if they can’t do anything for me back. I am the type of person who will go to Youtube looking for a song from Beyonce and end up watching videos of random acts of kindness until 2 am. I say all this because I genuinely find true peace from doing kind things, whether it’s seeing it done, or doing it myself.

Seems like a beautiful distraction doesn’t it, but you can only guess what would happen once a pandemic can come into the picture. I can confidently say, I never knew how many problems I had since this pandemic began. Well, to rephrase that I never knew how the everyday affairs of life can distract you from yourself. Running on the last bits of gas, ignoring all my check engine and low tire pressure lights, when this pandemic finally happened, I BROKE DOWN. Not even a tow truck could lift me, because I had severe internal engine failure. Like a magnifying glass highlighting the insecurities, this pandemic made peace, like a foreign language to me, that is until I discovered poetry.

I had often found solace in the paper and pen, but I had not had enough time for myself to make it a craft. Finally, being forced to find inner peace in a way I was not used to, I found it through writing. Words made me come alive, so that rhymes became my medicine for when I was feeling down. Each line gave me serotonin, a high that any negative thoughts could not longer reach, I was finally free.

You could ask me how I was doing and all I would say was ok, but if you ask me to write it in a poem, ok is not enough to say. Poetry made me stop looking at life through a camera lens and turn it into a mirror, so that I could see clearly who I am. No more focusing on pleasing people, I had to look at myself. It saved my mentality, forced me to see why I am unhappy and realize that it was okay to please me, and that she should be pleased. Words have power to discover the truth you never knew.

So, every week that is my habitat, my time to just rhyme. And occasionally throughout the day when I have something to say the words come off the page in a lyrical way because it just flows. When I flow I know that the bad goes, and I can finally be at ease because with poetry I have true peace.

social commentary

Shannon Manning

I am a literary advocate. I never really honed in on my writing until this pandemic. I believe the best writing can come from times of trial.

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