“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”
– Anna Taylor
Today was a bad day. It’s the first time since I began this positivity project 84 days ago, that positivity went flying out the window. I was flat out negative today. I experienced a bunch of situations where people did not take my time, energy or physical space into consideration. Well, that’s a nice way of putting it – they just stomped all over my boundaries. My initial reaction was to point a finger at the people who had upset me – they were responsible for my experience. And then I realized that that was old programmed thinking. I am responsible for my experience.
It reminded me of a time many years ago when I was invited to an acquaintance’s birthday party at a restaurant. I wasn’t able to make it for dinner, but I dropped by as the evening was coming to an end. When I showed up, they had just finished coffee and dessert. There were still a couple of half empty bottles of wine on the table, although it looked like the group of 40 or so people had gone through several before my arrival. Someone offered me a glass of wine from one of the bottles. I accepted. About 15 minutes later, the bill came. They divided the bill by the number of people there, and announced that everyone was to contribute $150 each. I was expected to pay $150 for half a glass of wine. I paid it because I was I didn’t want to be embarrassed if I spoke up. The next day, I was upset with myself for keeping my mouth shut, and outraged at how ridiculous it was that I was embarrassed. I’ve never let that happen again. I learned my lesson on setting boundaries.
Or so I thought. Although I don’t get duped when it comes to splitting a bill with a large group at a restaurant anymore, I still experience situations where people disregard boundaries for my time, energy, privacy and physical space. I often experience situations where people expect me to put their needs ahead of my own, even complete strangers will ask outrageous things of me, thinking that it’s ok to ask me to drop my life to help with theirs, and I continue to feel obligated to take it on, and I still don’t speak up for myself, especially when someone I care about would be caught in the cross-fire if I did speak up. That happened today. I am annoyed with my silence, to put it mildly.
As these thoughts were running through my head, the angst built up, and I sent out more negative vibes. Of course, I attracted more similar experiences, one after the other, like dominos.
I know that I am responsible for these experiences, the question is, why? What’s going on inside that’s attracting these unwanted situations into my life? I must have some underlying beliefs that are aligned with this experience that I need to clear, so I can break this pattern. As I thought about what I was doing to create this, the anger continued to bubble up, and I got more agitated as I thought of all the situations that I didn’t stand up for myself.
Finally, I realized that the more I focus on these thoughts and feel miserable and upset, the more I will continue to experience the same. I decided it didn’t matter what the reason was, I just need to let it go, and love myself enough to put myself first. As soon as I did that and changed my focus to something pleasant, the day turned around.
This is a lesson I’m still learning. There’s a graceful way to take care of yourself, set your boundaries and still be helpful to others. It’s important to realize that you are at the root of it, and even if you don’t know what subconscious beliefs you have that are creating the unwanted situation, know that if you just stop, decide to love yourself first and focus on the good around you, you can break the cycle and eventually it won’t show up as a part of your experience anymore.
You deserve the very best, make sure you give it to yourself. After all, as my affirmation series says: If You Do, Others Will Too. Lead The Way.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!