It is often heard that you should "respect others' boundaries" with regard to any number of things, such as time, relationships, money, emotions, etc. Of course that is important, but what about you? What about respecting YOUR boundaries? This is a topic that has presented itself to me a few times over the last handful of weeks, so I feel compelled to open the discussion.
If you are one of those folks who tends to do everything for everyone else, bending over backwards to accommodate others' needs, and you are finding yourself resentful, drained, and/or underappreciated... you may be neglecting your own personal boundaries. Let's be clear though: I am not talking about people who are always putting others' first so that they receive attention or accolades for such. I am talking about people who genuinely want to help others, be a good friend, partner, spouse, parent, etc. This is a very demanding role to have. Look at it this way: if I give you ten flowers, and you give them all away to other people, yet no one gives you a flower in return... you have nothing left to give anyone, let alone yourself.
So, we're really talking about two things here. One is the need to keep a flower for yourself... practice self care on a daily basis. Here are a few ideas:
* Get a massage;
* Turn off your cell phone for an hour in the middle of the day so that you can read a book, go for a walk, or even take a nap without distraction (we should all go non-electronic about two hours before bed, by the way... more on that another time!);
* Take a bath (think bubbles, bath salts, candles!!);
* Make time for morning and night stretching/breathing sessions;
* Buy yourself a cup of tea and go window shopping (or real shopping, if your budget allows!).
The other thing we're talking about is your "people" or your "tribe." Basically, you are looking at who you call friends and family. I posted a quote the other day on IG about pouring your energy into those who show up consistently in your life. All healthy relationships should incorporate give and take; if you are constantly giving with no reciprocity, you may need to re-evaluate your relationships. Now, don't just go slicing people out of your life. Simply back up a bit and see what happens when you allow people the opportunity to show up. Some will, and some won't. Keep in mind that most people are not psychic. Be sure you are communicating your needs in a relationship so that those who care about you understand what you need to feel valued. We all need that; we all deserve that... to feel valued.
You may find that your present relationships simply flourish with a bit of attention to your personal boundaries, or you may find that your circle changes a little, and that's okay too. Everyone has different needs, different capacities, and different ways of communicating. Once your are honest with yourself about what you need, you can then be honest with others. Eventually, you will find your tribe. The quantity may change (fewer OR more!), but the quality will vastly improve.