What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Did you grow up always trying to please others, searching for approval & the need for validation from others & learn to live your life ‘certain’ in the knowledge that were you ‘stupid enough’ to not only have but enforce boundaries with regard to your own life & that by doing so then others wouldn’t, or worse still stop loving you?
If you did I can pretty much say that for you like me life became a vicious cycle of wrestling to cater for your own needs & wants as well as servicing those of others and as such you will have lived anything but a fearless life
I’ve learned many things over the course of my life
However one thing has remained constant & that simply put is this we are ALL of using fighting our own battles & demons on many levels, BUT so are those we are both surrounded by & hold dear. When we are so close that we can’t see the wood for the trees and should one, if not both of us be prepared to see the other side then we get into difficulties.
But there also ALWAYS comes a point when BOTH sides have no choice other than to take responsibility for their part in the problem….
Being brutally honest I’ve learned that in having grown up being a people pleaser & being afraid to set & reinforce boundaries for others in my life, that I had inadvertently become the root cause of the problem!
GUILTY AS CHARGED!
But even so there comes a point in any situation when no matter how much we love, how much we give, how much we ignore, how much we hope that things will change for the better they NEVER will if the all important factor of RESPECT is missing!
But you can be certain of one thing
People can & do get the emotions of LOVE & RESPECT mixed and yet nothing will ever change in a relationship unless both sides both understand and embrace the difference
This is a monumental mistake & the crux of many a failed relationship…husband & wife, father & mother, mother & daughter, the list my friends is endless.
In my humble opinion to love & be loved unconditionally is the greatest gift we will ever be able to give or receive because it comes freely, without strings & by definition without condition.
Respect on the other hand is a privilege. One to be earned, gained if you will & borne on the back of many things and for sure my boundaries & yours will be as different as our fingerprints. Much like the boundaries themselves the reasons others will respect/disrespect us or themselves are equally as varied.
The one thing that people forget is that if a boundary is important enough for someone to set it then it is important enough for the rest of us to respect it.
Whether or not we believe it to be a valid boundary is totally irrelevant.
The problem begins when boundaries & respect become inextricably intertwined with love.
How many times have we heard or even said & moreover believed scenarios such as:
‘If she loved me she wouldn’t ask me to do that”…!
”Whether he loves me or not he should respect my boundaries’…!
Only you can decide if either or both of these generalisations are true and only you can decide whether or not you will put up with either or both of the consequences of them with regard to your own situation BUT for me at least & being brutally honest here…
If someone loves us unconditionally then we don’t have to honour & respect their boundaries – WRONG!
If we truly love someone enough then we will provide them with the boundaries they need. Ones which will help & enable them to thrive & grow in this life, Ones which will allow them to live & learn & grow into someone who they CAN both love & respect themselves in order to enable others t do the same.
If those we love & care for fall into the category of being someone who, no matter how hard you try, how much you give & how much you love continually & habitually not only ignore your boundaries but in doing so totally disrespect them & even go out of their way to cross them?
Then you/we will reach a point where we have to decided what we are prepared to accept & equally what we are not prepared to accept…As Eckhart Tolle so rightly said in any situation;
If you need to change it then do. If you can’t change it then you need to accept it for what it is. If you can’t accept it then it’s time to leave for all else is madness.
There are givers & there are takers in this life and yes there are those who successfully manage both but the question is how much of YOUR LIFE are you prepared to gift to someone who is unwilling or unable to at least meet you half way??
We ALL have limits and on a day where they have been reached the question is will you choose to let them become part of the solution or exacerbate the problem?
Again only time will tell but if like me you have reached a cross roads in your emotional life then maybe it’s time to start a daily practice of self-validation and tell yourself this…
Today I honour myself ENOUGH to take a chance that by being willing to enforce my boundaries then those I love and care for will not only LOVE me but RESPECT my boundaries as well
And after 57 years on this planet as hard as it is and will continue to be? It’s a chance that I am FINALLY willing to take because like you & everyone else on this 3rd rock from the sun know that much like my boundaries …
I MATTER! I AM ENOUGH!