Tag Archive | Self Love

Self-Love: The Key to Setting Personal Boundaries and Minimizing the Impact of Negativity

In this phase of my journey, I’ve had to deal with my fair share of negativity and unfavorable behavior that, if not checked, impacts my wellbeing. And as I consider the best options for handling such situations, I am keenly aware that my response to such negativity will have to come from a place of love, more specifically from a place of self-love.

Self-love does not equate to being selfish, but rather is a balanced, healthy love and respect for one’s self. Self-love is the medium through which we’re able to establish and share boundaries that support our wellbeing and value system. It also clarifies what types of behavior we will – and will not – accept. With that said, each decision and choice that I make to address my negative encounters will need to produce a loving and kind resolve for my self.

There have been times in my life when I have made decisions that benefited other people but did not serve me well and weren’t sustainable longterm. The focus on others at the expense of my own wellbeing and peace of mind caused internal unrest, the likes of which resulted from dreading the forthcoming but necessary conflict, people-pleasing and/or trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings. And, from my experience, none of the latter leads to a right, authentic or lasting solution for anyone.

Although there’s nothing wrong with wanting to please and protect the feelings of others, we must be aware of when our desire to please and protect feelings interferes with our ability to do what’s right for ourselves and the situation.

And more importantly, we must be aware when we are dealing with people who may be unreasonable for whom nothing that we could possibly do will ever be enough to satisfy or change them or their behavior. And while we may not be able to change people’s minds or hearts, we may be able to influence their behavior.

Hence, when we focus on choices and decisions that support self-love, we empower ourselves and, at least, disable the impact of negativity and poor behavior in our presence. With every opportunity, I feel it so important to maintain a focus on solutions/decisions that best support a life and lifestyle that loves us back, strengthens us and, ideally, will be best for all concerned. Solutions that we can live with longterm and that give us the most peace of mind.

To this end, I pledge to love myself enough to say “no” to negativity, crazymakers and boundary-breakers who attempt to disrupt peace and positive energy in my life. And I hope it will be your pledge to yourself as well, affirming your self-worth and value as a unique individual.

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The Evolution of Mom: Lessons for Life Learned as a Caregiver, Part 1

My sisters and I have been caregivers for our Mom for just over two years. And, given the seemingly ongoing challenges of being a caregiver, I realize that I have to handle it like a long-distance runner: I have to pace myself.

So, I opened my heart and mind to embrace what this experience was teaching and bringing to my awareness. This series of posts will share insights that emerged in my journey as a caregiver that I hope will prove as valuable to you as they have been to me.

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Principle 1

Although everything that happens in life may not be all about you, it nonetheless is about some aspect of you when it includes you and/or impacts your life.

I do, however, understand what most people mean when they say “It’s not about you,” but it still bothers me a bit to hear it because few people ever explain what they mean. I get the fact that most people are referring to the bigger purpose behind a situation, but for people who are true helpers, givers and servants of Christ, that statement can be easily misunderstood and used to exhaust and abuse one’s self. Therefore, don’t underestimate or disregard how a situation impacts your life simply because you are not the one receiving direct care or requesting assistance with a problem. When you are in a supportive role is when your own selfcare is even more important because you are pulling from within yourself in order to give of yourself to another. And anytime you pull something out of yourself to share with others, you need to replenish yourself – and what you give needs to be a part of you that is actually available for giving.

Without a plan to replenish yourself and your resources, over the longterm, you could end up mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually or financially bankrupt, which can make it even more challenging to be supportive to others and yourself.

Your own selfcare is your first priority because everything else you do hinges on your being well enough in the various areas of your life to do what you need, want or have been asked to do. Therefore, everything that affects you on some level is about you!  So, you must provide care for your self before you can effectively and patiently care for someone else. Otherwise, it’s like giving others only the crumbs of ourselves when we are too exhausted, stressed and unhappy to do what we need to do in a kind, patient and loving manner. There’s nothing wrong with some crumbs occasionally if that works for you and all concerned in the interim.

However, the crumbs of life were not intended to be the norm for how we function day in and day out. We were designed to be balanced and whole, which require consistent cycles of work activity and self renewal in order to function at our very best. So before you “X” yourself out by making a situation ALL about someone else, consider your self-love life and whether you are loving your neighbor (others, including family and extended church family and friends) “as yourself or “instead” of yourself.

Note that loving your neighbor (others) as yourself requires that you first have some substance inside yourself to share. You’ve got to have some internal savings stored up. So it is out of the abundance of who you are and all that you’ve stored and poured into yourself that you give unto others. And after doing so, you refill and restore yourself so you’ll be ready to pour out again as needed.

On the other hand, loving your neighbor instead of yourself requires that you diminish your own importance in order to make someone else more important than your own self and wellbeing, or to make them look good and strong while making yourself appear weak and obsolete. This is what I referred to above as “X-ing” yourself out.

As you go through the days and weeks ahead, take note of if you are an “as-yourself” or an “instead-of-yourself” person. And if the latter, I would suggest spending a bit more time to find out who you are IN Christ rather than who you are outside or without Christ. It doesn’t make you a bad person by no means; it just makes you a person who hasn’t yet connected with his/her true value because when you know that you are worthy of admiration, you treat yourself differently, and as a consequence, you can have more meaningful interactions with others in your life.