Remember that great song by Kelis – Caught Out There? Aww, it was a great song to show the rage of women after being lied on or cheated on by their significant others. It was an anthem for women. You don’t have to take it. She screamed. She destroyed stuff. She showed her emotions. Haven’t we all been there before?
But, that’s not what this post is about. LOL. It isn’t about hate. It is about you. Choosing you. Choosing to forgive and choosing to create your life with boundaries.
See, a few weeks ago a friend and I were having a conversation about forgiveness. He said to me that if I forgive someone then I should be willing to share my personal space with them. I laughed. I explained that forgiveness is for self and not for the other person.
If someone commits an egregious act towards you or does something that just doesn’t sit well in your spirit, you have the right to protect yourself. Your first obligation is to you. It is and will always be. Think about when you fly and they tell you that if you are flying with children and the oxygen masks deploy you should put your own mask on first and then secure the child’s. You’re no help to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.
Some of you may be asking, what are personal boundaries? I searched and found the perfect definition from Z. Hereford in the article Healthy Personal Boundaries and How to Establish Them
“Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others. Their presence helps us express ourselves as the unique individuals we are, while we acknowledge the same in others.”
Sounds simple right? It is. I know that you may think that it is hard to really do, but trust me when you choose yourself first that it really makes it easy to not allow your personal boundaries to be crossed. Setting boundaries allows you to no longer be a victim. You become the leader of your own life. You become responsible for your own happiness.
I have to be honest. Setting personal boundaries was not a lesson that I learned early on. I learned to establish boundaries at 41. Can you believe it? I don’t want you to wait. I don’t want Munch to wait. You have to choose you.
I started to choose me first. I started to realize that I would not allow someone else’s feelings or thoughts about me impact my life. I choose to re-evaluate my life and relationships to remove toxic people. I chose to live my life on my own terms without giving a care as to who felt otherwise or didn’t like it.
I chose me.
It can seem overwhelming when you create boundaries and try to enforce them, but you need to remember that it is part of your personal responsibility. To yourself. No one can make you happy but YOU. So, the power lies within.
You have to take responsibility for how people treat you. You have to know that if you continue to allow disrespect and you don’t want it then it really is your fault. Stop letting people tell you that you have to have a relationship with someone that mistreats you because they are a relative or you are connected through children. You don’t. You just live your life choosing you first.
Forgiveness for me honestly means that I don’t dwell on the negativity, pain and hurt you caused. It means that I remove you from my life with little to no contact. I don’t allow you the opportunity to hear my voice or be in my presence. I set the tone. I set the rules.
Trust me when I tell you that this is the most freeing way to live. I actually dated men that I allowed to walk all over my boundaries and then justified their behavior and rezoned my boundaries. Yep, I was crazy. Why would I ever allow someone that kind of power in my life?
Because I subscribed to the belief that I had to be this ever forgiving doormat for others to walk on. I believed that otherwise people would think I wasn’t nice. I was trying to live up to an image others expected. Now…I don’t.
I live for me. My life. My choices. I forgive. I keep my boundaries firm. I choose me. You need to do the same.