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Compassion and Boundaries – how they go hand in hand

 

Do you say ‘yes’ all. the. time?

Do you over extend yourself to have a hand in every single pot you can get your hands on?

Is your pattern to please people, your bank account, your ideal body image, or maybe even your emotions?

But do you find yourself then having to cancel last minute due to sheer exhaustion? Having to turn your ‘Yes’s’ into ‘No’s’ then feeling guilty, or worse - resentful?

As a people pleaser myself I see this pattern in my life fairly often. 

I struggle at times with boundaries. 

Intuitively knowing what feels like a ’No’ when I obligingly say ‘yes’ has been a theme on occasion. 

In the past I found it so flaky and disrespectful when people would have good intentions of commitment, then for whatever reason would change their mind last second. And so that core value became ‘I will not be one of those people.’ So if I said yes, I rarely didn’t show up. But also felt resentful at times leading up to it, then often tired and irritable after.

I’m not talking about emergency situations. Those are inevitable. 

But I found it hard to trust them -the people who you could never really count on. Disappointment was the name of the game.

But whose choice was it to be disappointed?

Mine. 

Whose choice was it to not have my own boundaries in check?

Mine.

I know there’s always a choice. It’s my full intention to choose more wisely. Without judgement. Without approval. Without disregard. And since saying 'no' more, I can now empathize with the people whose boundaries may not be clear, or whose plate is extra full. I see you. I am you. And I love you. We all deserve to be accepted as we are. And we’ll learn along the way if we are willing. Transformation takes time.

Brené Brown says, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.”

So although giving up on commitments could be called self-love. I think it’s a fine line that we all need to check. Because pulling out or jumping off the wagon and calling it selfcare all the time can be just as damaging to our authentic self as over-extending. -Think balancing the pendulum-

Certainly, “compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They're compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.” (Brené Brown) However, the first step is knowing where those boundaries need to be set, am I right?!

What if we stop apologizing and start listening to what our inner being really needs. Past the ego, past the cultural norms, and societal demands.

So I'll ask it, 'what do you need dear one?' What do you truly need?

Let’s talk about this. Can you relate? How are you setting boundaries?? Reach out, comment below.

And lastly I’ll leave you with this final bit of wisdom from the inspirational Brene Brown,

“Research shows that playing cards once a week or meeting friends every Wednesday night at Starbucks adds as many years to our lives as taking beta blockers or quitting a pack-a-day smoking habit." Why? Well I think it's because there is also contentment in allowing ourselves to enjoy the little commitments in life. 

I read the same story every night to my daughter. It’s a pretty rare occasion that we’d miss that one. But I don’t do it out of fear of disappointing her. Rather it’s out of love for her, myself, and my commitment to our bonding time before bed. 

And also because life is short. And those little commitments feel sooo so much like a ‘YES’. 

Can you find what's a definite 'yes' in your life?

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