What is it like to feel really, really connected to someone?
Not merging, or codependent, but rather full of trust, mutual respect and interdependence?
When we choose vulnerability in relationship without our safety and security needs being met, we risk losing ourselves and create a toxic cycle. In her famous Ted Talk, Brene Brown says "To be vulnearble means I'm alive."
Don't You Want To Live A Gorgeously Delicious Life?
I know I do. But in my experience, it takes serious work and intention. Doesn't mean it needs to be difficult or painful. But true growth comes out of being intimate with ourselves and our needs. And intimacy requires trust based on respect of boundaries--boundaries for ourselves and with others. When we are trusting in our relationships, we feel safe. Similarly, if we don’t feel safe and secure, our boundaries can look very unhealthy.
Boundaries Are Key!
Choosing self-care for helpers and healers means evaluating the health of our boundaries and making them joyfully clear to all important people in our lives.
Boundaries include saying no and meaning it, and being in relationship with people who don't test that choice.
Boundaries mean being clear about what your needs are and being able to verbalize them without fear or self-judgment.
Boundaries include not having to rationalize ourselves when we set limits and instead be trusting of our own mind-body-spirit needs.
Boundaries mean not negotiating ourselves away but rather being honest about how we can speak our needs with grace and understanding of all parties.
Discomfort is Normal
When you haven't set healthy boundaries in the past and instead been complicit in people taking advantage of your helping nature, it is totally natural to feel discomfort at setting boundaries. Perhaps fear creeps in--"What if they leave me?" "What if they don't want to work with me again?" "What if it starts a fight?"
There are lots of reasons why if you haven't set healthy boundaries in the past that it is going to be tough to start.
Start small. What is one small step you can take today to get your voice heard? Perhaps it's as simple as asking for the thermostat to be changed, when you've been coping for months in a stifling office.
You Can Do It
It gets better and easier with practice. When you choose to face your own fear and decide to put yourself on your to-do list, it gets simpler as time goes on. You'll start to notice when people are stepping on your boundaries and you'll start speaking up, gaining confidence one boundary at a time.
Resiliency takes effort, but pays back a million-fold.