The Manual

When I was a newly married, every single night I would cook an elaborate dinner, because I believed it was what a “good” wife should do.

Truth is I don’t really love to cook, but in my mind it was necessary if I wanted my husband to love me. I remember one night, my husband coming home and saying, “You don’t have to make a big dinner every night, I’m totally fine with a frozen burrito!” 

But of course I didn’t listen, because a “good” wife always makes a nice dinner! Right??

There were lots of other things I added to my manual for myself, like never say anything if it might hurt someone else’s feelings, always volunteer, never go out in public without looking good… and on and on! Sound familiar?

Not only did I have a manual for myself, but I also had a manual for my husband. Which of course I never shared with him, -I just expected him to read my mind. 

Because if he really loved me, he would KNOW what I needed. LOL!!!

I had expectations that he should always compliment me for how I looked and show appreciation for how hard I worked.  He should buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day and make elaborate plans for our Anniversary.

It was HIS job to make ME feel loved and special.

Oh boy, imagine my disappointment when he didn’t follow my manual!

Because I had such a lengthy manual for myself, I felt justified in having one for my husband, kids and many others as well.

It felt righteous.  It felt fair.

If you’ve ever had the thought, “He should do that if he wants to make me happy…. She should say that so I feel better… I need you to do this to make me know you love me…”


Whenever we look to external sources to make us feel a certain way, we are living in Emotional Childhood.

When we need someone else’s approval to feel worthy, or valued, we sacrifice our emotional health, because if they don’t perform well, We are the ones who suffer!

Have you noticed that people don’t like to be told how to do things, how to live their lives and how to act in certain situations?  It’s not fun! And by the way, I don’t either!  

What if we just allowed everyone else to be and do and live the way they want, and we allowed the same thing for ourselves?  It’s so freeing. Imagine! We can just love other people exactly the way that they are, and we can love ourselves that way too!

If this rings true for you, I encourage you to ditch the manual and create your own feelings by managing your mind!

When I dropped the manual for myself, it was much easier to drop it for others as well.  It gave me the freedom to show up in life as the authentic version of me, and that makes all the difference!

It’s my wish for you too!



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