Setting Boundaries, an Act of Self-Love
Are you one of those people that will bend over backwards for others? You do for others, give to others, serve others and care so much about how others are feeling and what their needs are, you have lost touch with your own feelings and needs. In fact, you may have no clue about what you need to be doing to take care of yourself as you put yourself in last place or you put what others think of you as a priority. And when you care too much about what others think of you, you don’t set boundaries in order to take care of yourself. You fail to practice self care and self loving actions. Without self care and self loving actions your bucket becomes empty. You have dipped from it without replenishing it. An empty bucket brings about resentment, feelings of being overwhelmed and unappreciated, fatigue, tearfulness, a sense of apathy and a sense of hopelessness. All of these feelings will get your attention, because it doesn’t feel good when we carry this.
Replenishing your bucket can be accomplished. It comes from setting boundaries. Setting boundaries seems to be one of the more difficult skills to accomplish in our relationship with others. Saying “no” to other people can be difficult. But saying “no” to those that we really care about can be excruciating if we think that it is “what we do” that makes another person love us. People that “over do” what they do for others often carry a core belief that they have to earn their love from others. They don’t have the belief that will allow them to say, “I am enough.” Or, “I don’t have to earn my way by doing for others.” This is where the response I described above can be your gift. It is through the pain of being empty and still feeling unloved and cared for that we can finally have the courage to say, “I can’t do that.” “No.” “I can do this, but I can’t do that.”
Boundaries can be very healing in many ways. We can learn that others love us for who we are and not for what we do. Or we may learn that others actually only loved us for what we did and it is time to move on and bring the new people into our lives. It is through setting the boundaries that we reflect our love for ourselves out into the world which will then, in turn, bring people into our lives that respect our boundaries. So the first step – start your own program of self-love. Reflect on tasks that are asked of you and be methodical in weighing if it is right for you to do it at this time. Taking action in showing you love yourself will be heard loudly within yourself and reflect out to the world as your glow starts to warm you inwardly and shine outwardly to the rest of the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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