Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Setting boundaries with love

One of the most difficult (at times) things for me has been to set boundaries for myself in terms of the time and assistance I give to other people. It is so easy to always say yes, to offer help even when I don't have time or in giving the time and energy to someone else, it means I don't have time for myself. I call this the martyr complex *smile* My whole upbringing focused on service to others above and beyond myself, in part doctrine and in part my own tendency towards helping.

While this may not seem so bad, it has meant that instead of following my heart and intuition, I have often done things to meet the expectations of others and their perception of being "good, kind and generous of spirit."

There came a moment in time (I forget when now) where I realised that in order to continue being helpful, it was also necessary to treat myself with the same courtesy as I would others. It is necessary to set firm boundaries so that not ALL of my time is spent in doing things to meet the expectations of others. I had to (and have) give myself permission to say "no" occasionally, or frequently as the need took me. To put my needs first so that I may feel refreshed and rejuvenated in order to be more effective when I can help. Putting my own thoughts, feelings and needs second only led to resentment in the end and didn't help me be the best me I could be. It led me to being judgemental and having to work daily to find goodness in others, because the whole time I was helping, I felt like I was being used; never a nice feeling. I mistook service for servitude (there is another post expanding on this further if you would like to know some more).

Having said all of this, I don't ignore the needs of others, and I don't act selfishly to fulfil my needs in spite of others...there is a difference.

Basically it comes down to your perception of and attitude towards what is being asked of you. If you feel like you must say "yes" to a situation, say it with your WHOLE heart, and throw yourself entirely into the situation with enthusiasm and positivity. This changes the experiences from one of self sacrifice, to one of rejuvenation.

By the same token, if you feel like saying "no" to a situation, then be firm and loving both to yourself and the situation. This is in effect, a promise you are making to yourself to love and nurture your own being, to protect your integrity and conserve your energy.

The world benefits the most when you are feeling beautiful, joyful and positive. This energy will radiate from you and effect those closest to you with a sense of well being and love. Setting boundaries to ensure that you feel this way and that you are not always tired and drained is not selfish...it is essential for everyone's well being.

With love and light

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