• by Natalie Alexander

The People Pleasing Tree


For as long as I remember I’ve eaten from a tree It’s called a ‘People Pleasing Tree’ And the apples were just for me. The apples always looked good They were shiny, nice and bright But when I took a bite I got a terrible fright! The apples gave me powers To please all those around Yet while I gained approval I kept stumbling to the ground. I never stopped to think That the apples made me ill Because I was pleasing others And this was a deceitful skill! It was very reinforcing To win approval from my friends From people who are important The list it never ends. So all through my childhood I continued to eat From the people pleasing tree Pleasing all whom I’d meet. Then when I was a teenager The apples made me sick Cause I was confronted by some bullies And was battered by their tricks.

No-one showed me how to eat Of any other fruit So I kept on being nice To the bully- the nasty brute. Suddenly from nowhere I got a strange sensation Although I was still saying ‘yes’ The word came with such hesitation. Inside of my belly Anxiety was brewing But I kept eating the apples Much to my undoing. And then as an adult uncertain what to say When I needed to say ‘nay’ I still quivered in my ‘yea.’ Conflict would arise and my stress would worsen I started to hate the apples And slowly started to curse them. And as the years passed by I started to choke upon these apples I hated pleasing others Pleasing me was now my battle. Then painfully and slowly I learnt that the tree Had caused me to suffer From saying ‘yes’ repeatedly. I no longer eat the apples I no longer try to please I have to please myself By saying ‘NO’ it sets me free. Today the apples tempt me But I will not take a bite I’ve planted a new orchard With the apples that I like.

Natalie Alexander is passionate about human rights issues, matters of the mind and interfaith insights. When not in deep thought, Natalie loves to travel, drink good coffee and keep fit where she resides on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

See all previous articles by Natalie Alexander

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