There are a lot of misconceptions around the idea of not judging, loving people where they are at and being there for friends in need. If you do not know me you need to hear this confession and maybe I need to make it formally – I am really uncomfortable letting people do for me so I almost always do for them first.
I am not a doormat. I believe I have lots of self esteem. However, I am a nurturing caregiver by nature. It is comfortable to me. I do not think this is always a bad thing. It makes me an awesome mom for instance. I have a close knit group of friends that this works with.
However, I am not going to lie it gets me in trouble sometimes. I have a hard time setting boundaries with people I care about. On some level I assume they would do the same for me and at some point it will all come out in the wash so to speak. Sadly, it does not always work out that way for me.
That said, I am not going to change my loving and giving nature. I am not going to become jaded and assume everyone will take advantage of me. What I have done is decided to set up guidelines for myself so that I do not have to draw my line in the sand and then draw it again and again. Here is a good blueprint for those of us that give and give and then well have nothing left!
Here is my new manfiesto:
1 – Boundaries: I will set my boundaries and not move them. This means I will not do for people if it takes away from my well being. In short, we shouldn’t do for others if it means we sacrifice too much and are left with nothing for ourselves. I will put myself and my children first. That should be simple and go without saying but sometimes I think I can juggle it all. However, if I put myself last and I run out of resources then I am the one out of luck!
2 – Self Love: I have always hated this term. It sounds so hokey. However, I will buy into it – hook, line and sinker. I will define practicing self love simply as treating myself the way I treat the people I love. I will do nice things for me and tell myself how great I am. What a nice idea. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
3 – Create a bubble: I will keep my distance from those that cannot resist taking advantage of me. Maybe it is because I am a giver but somehow I seem to get close to those that will take and take. It isn’t completely their fault I guess. I am tempting. If you like someone taking care of you I am your girl. Some people are drawn in and can’t stop. Sadly, that depletes me. I try to keep it up but at some point the person takes too much and then I am done. It happens. I start to wonder why they are taking advantage of me. I start to feel resentful, usually after the fact. This just doesn’t work out well. So, I will now create the bubble early on.
4- Forgiveness: It is essential to life but it doesn’t mean we need to accept bad behavior. I can forgive those who take advantage of me but that does not mean I have to accept their behavior moving forward. Easy! Let it go and move on.
5 – Accountability: I will hold people in my life accountable and make it clear to them when I feel they are doing wrong by me. I will not sit silently and beat myself up for letting myself get taken advantage of. Relationships are a two way street. We cannot control other people’s actions but we can let them know what doesn’t work for us and hold them to it.
The biggest take away from life as I wind down my 45th year of life is that I am as important as everyone else in my life. I need to take care of me first and then the rest will fall into place. I thought I had mastered this before but I may have slipped up a bit. The nice thing about life is that every day we show up here is another chance to get it right!!
Have a beautiful day lovelies!