Setting boundaries is essential to living a balanced life. Why is is such a hard lesson to learn?! Because you actually care… that’s all! But caring about yourself FIRST, saying NO when your heart really says no and setting clear personal boundaries can actually strengthen your relationships. Filling your own up before you try to serve others leaves less space in your life for resentment , defeat and depletion. Your commitment to self care benefits everyone around you!
There was a time in my life when the word NO did not exist in my vocabulary. I was raising my son and committed to being the best mom. That means I was a personal taxi service to he and all of his friends, I was at all school functions, I was at every event he was a part of AND I cooked almost every single night. I was also building a business. That means I literally would say yes to every opportunity to fit someone into my schedule and every opportunity to make money- even if that meant getting up at 5 am for a client. I was also a friend- to a lot of amazing women that I desperately tried to keep up with. My workouts started around 4:30 in the morning and I would crash into bed every night feeling so exhausted, only to get up and do it all over again.
I was diagnosed with a glandular type of cancer at 27 years old and it couldn’t have showed up at a better time. I was mentally and physically exhausted. I hadn’t learned how to set boundaries for myself as I was burning the candle at both ends. My immune system was blasted with no sleep, improper nutrition and emotional overhaul. Self -care was no longer an afterthought, but an absolute necessity.
I made a commitment to start taking care of myself, or there would be no one left to care for my son…
I remember the first time I stood up for myself during all of this. I had taken a half day off because I would be visiting my third oncologist to get a final opinion and biopsy to determine treatment. I was asked to reschedule that appointment so that I could stay later at the spa and fit a client in that had requested me. I remember feeling so uneasy because I was being asked so nonchalantly, as if my health and future were no big deal. I felt SO unappreciated in that moment, BUT as I looked deeper into it, it wasn’t out of the norm. I ALWAYS stepped up to the plate for everyone. I allowed people to pull me in every and all directions!
In my case, my body stepped up for me. It ended up with dis-ease on a physical level and left me no choice other than to create a different life on all levels.
Learning the word NO is the first lesson in self-care and setting boundaries. No one is going to set them for us. If you are feeling stretched too thin, seeking approval from outside of yourself by pleasing everyone else, and you are saying yes when your heart says no, then it’s time for a re-evaluation. You matter. You are important. You are the only person who will hands down, for sure ,be with you forever… let’s take care of her or him!!!! Even just 30 minutes a day of journaling, reading , meditation, walking in nature, exercise, planning healthy meals, playing music, dancing, ANYTHING- can change your life.
I hope you dance!