Throughout my life I have been the type of person that puts others first, even at the expense of my own wishes and feelings. I found that I had a hard time saying no to others, as I have wanted to be helpful and supportive to those in my life. As a highly empathic individual, I am very tuned into the feelings of others, and would find I would sacrifice myself at times if I thought that meant making another person feel better. I have always been more comfortable giving than receiving and somehow learned that in order to receive love, I had to earn it first.
As some of you may know through reading my blog, I have wanted to help others my whole life. I have always been very sensitive and highly attuned to the people and situations around me. For these reasons, I believed that all of the above was completely healthy and simply a part of being an empathetic and caring human being. I am now learning that I have been doing myself a great disservice, as I never learned how to set boundaries. I have found myself becoming increasingly depleted, an aching pain growing in my heart, and a disconnection forming with those around me. I have been giving at the expense of myself, not honoring my truth, and depleting my ability to help others in an authentic way.
What I have come to understand is that boundaries are an essential way for us to honor our truth and live aligned with our hearts. That aching pain I have been feeling has been a beautiful communication to me from my inner voice that I am not aligned and caring for myself in the ways that I need to be. As I have neglected my boundaries I have neglected myself, and the truth that I am meant to live.
And so, I have set out on the path of learning to create boundaries. This is an interesting undertaking, as I am finding there is a great deal of fear and anxiety around my heart as I attempt to do this. Fears that I will not be loved or accepted, fears that I will hurt others, and fears that I will somehow find myself alone. With the simple act of setting a boundary by saying no, these fears can scream loudly at me, challenging me to back away and give in. In the past, I would have. I’d have sacrificed myself and continued down the road of not honoring my truth.
As I sit and write now though, I am sharing from a space of strength. A space in which I am acknowledging my fears, sitting with the anxiety, breathing my way through it, and standing by my truth. I have made a commitment to myself to love and care for me in the way that I so deserve and have been starved of for so long. I have an opportunity to choose me and make a profound transformation in my life. A shift that will positively transform not only me, but those around me as well. I now understand that saying no is essential, communicating my truth should never be abandoned, and that I deserve to receive love for exactly who I am.
I have written this post and chosen to share this vulnerable space within me because I truly believe that so many of us, especially us women, have learned to sacrifice ourselves and neglect the boundaries that are essential for us to make and to honor. If you are like me, you never learned to set them at all. I think many of us are taught to care for others, please others, and to be accommodating. Over time we may feel the discontent begin to build or we may lose ourselves completely. I know I ended up in a space where I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I encourage you all to find space in your life to pay attention to your inner voice and listen to what your heart has to say. Find the courage to set boundaries and limits that allow you to honor your truth and keep you energetically filled. The person you are deserves love and care and the people you love deserve to experience you at your best. It may feel challenging at first, maybe even impossible, but take it from me, it is possible and it is life changing……