I know you are someone who’s a change-maker.
So I have an important question to ask…
Do you know how to choose what’s best for you?
Here’s the harsh reality of life: If you don’t choose yourself first, someone else will, and the results won’t always be pleasant.
Choosing yourself means drawing your own boundaries and setting your own standards, and sticking to them most, if not at all times.
Now here’s the rub. It’s very hard to do in a world full of distractions. When you find yourself faced with competing objects of attention, what takes your focus?
If you’re like most “nice” people, you will probably say, service to others first. But what if I told you, the best service you can be to others, is to actually serve your SELF first?
This may go against everything you ever learned. Many of your deeply rooted belief systems may be turning on their heads and telling you to run from these words I have written.
But, think about it.
When you board a plane, why do you think they say put your mask on first, BEFORE helping anyone else? (This includes even your children.)
Because if you aren’t good with yourself, then you are no good to anyone else.
You can’t give from an empty well. If you try, don’t be surprised when you’re brimming with frustration, resentment, and bitterness. Over time, you become a miserable shell, and then you blame the other person.
But was it really their fault?
If you have difficulty practicing setting boundaries, think about this as for the other person’s ultimate benefit.
If you train others to depend on you, they will inevitably take until you have nothing left. But, it’s not REALLY their fault.
Before you come at me saying I’m a victim shamer, hear me out.
One of the best lessons I learned in my most difficult relationships, was that YOU train others how to treat you. For example, early into our marriage, I told my ex-husband it wasn’t a big deal that he didn’t work. I even told him I wanted to be his “sugar mama.”
But that was me coming from a wounded place, where I believed that to earn love and affection, meant giving of my time and resources. And I gave to the point of depletion. I believed that others would see my personal sacrifice, and love me more for it. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
All this got me, was resentment when I told my ex I was no longer going to give him my credit card. This didn’t end when our relationship did. In fact, several months after he left, he called me asking for more money.
I realized I had NOT helped him by being his sugar mama. In fact, all I did was enable his feeling of inadequacy. And I also sent an unintended message that he couldn’t find financial abundance without me.
I learned an important lesson:
The best gift you can ever give someone, is to empower them to become self-sufficient.
This is how I plan to teach my children, and my son is getting the hard lessons day after day. I won’t lie, it does hurt me to watch sometimes when I see him struggling, but I am thankful that my husband helps me remember why this is going to be important for him. Even with autism, my son is far more capable than I sometimes give him credit.
The best moments I have as a parent now, is when I see him reach a new milestone, with a smile on his face and his joyful chants of “I did it!”
This level of sovereignty is what I wish for everyone. Of course, I had to learn over the years that not everyone is ready for this level of responsibility and accountability to self.
But for those who ARE, you’re in luck. This journey to self-discovery is only beginning.