I am a firm believer that we show people how to treat us. Do you have boundaries in place for your life? For many years I never had, but as I learned to love myself I found that I needed boundaries, not only boundaries for myself but boundaries for others.
I needed to know what I would, and would not tolerate from the people in my life, and what I would, and would not tolerate from myself. It took a little time and a lot of digging to figure out just what I would allow.
It wasn’t easy, but I learned to say no without guilt. That was a big one for me since for most of my life I was a people pleaser. The first few times I literally felt a spark in my sacral chakra. I was, admittedly, a little over whelmed but when no one died and life did’t crumble before me, I realized it would be OK, and it was, over time it got easier and easier. Now the word, no, is just another word to me.
There are so many people in my life that have an aversion to the word no, and because of that they are taken advantage of and are under-appreciated. I see this in the work place far too much. There are some who drop the ball and others who pick it up. I have to tell you from experience it is not the one picking it up that is catered too. It is generally not the one that goes the extra mile that gets the raise. Why? Because it is expected. It’s as simple as that.
I have clear, set boundaries these days. I don’t feel the need to do anything I don’t want to do. This does not at all mean that I am selfish. In fact, I am more selfless than I have ever been in my life. I am just more discerning now. I am more choosy about who I help, and what I do. It all comes back to the body, If I have a negative feeling about it in any way, I simply do not do it. It has to feel good for me to be on board. I have to feel a sense of peace about the situation to move forward. I trust myself enough to know what is good for me.
Life without boundaries is terrible. It’s all tense and thick. It’s stressful, who needs that? I struggled against everything in my life for many years. It wasn’t until I discovered boundaries that I realized maintaining them would be what would give me the confidence and strength to stand up and Be me, to stand up and reclaim my life. Setting boundaries is what brought me back to who I am meant to be.
My very first healthy boundary was a daily meditation practice. I committed to it and I am glad I did. Shortly following the start of my meditation practice a few more healthy boundaries popped up and they were to eat cleanly, get the proper amount of sleep, and to be hydrated every day.
I added more and more boundaries until I felt as though I was living authentically as myself. I do what feels right for me and on the flip side I don’t do anything that doesn’t. I don’t feel bad or make excuses for my decisions either, there is nothing to defend, I am simply doing what is right for me.
I have come to realize that I am as important, if not more than, anyone else out there. I have to take care of me, so I can take care of others. I used to believe that I could hate myself whole, but now I know better.
And as the great Maya Angelou said “when you know better you do better”