Being kind and understanding is very different than allowing yourself to be abused, mistreated or disrespected. Sometimes there’s a thin line between compassion for other people, and abuse of self. Being spiritual does not mean we allow ourselves to be injured, dumped on, taken advantage of, or treated like a doormat. When you’ve lost your self-respect and you’ve allowed your tender heart to be handled in a reckless way, you’ve betrayed the most vulnerable part of yourself, and that’s the source of your light and your strength. There is no true spiritual practice that demands you hand that over.
Sometimes I get emails from people wondering where the line is. I’ll tell you what I think. I think in order to help, nurture or support anyone else, we have to be doing those things for ourselves, first. You can’t be a source of strength for anyone if you’re doubting your worth, and if someone is treating you badly, your job is to remove yourself from that situation. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut this person out of your life (although it will mean that in some instances), but before you can figure out what to do or how to respond, you have to get yourself to a safe space. I mean that physically, mentally and emotionally. You are not here to participate in the dimming of your light, or the crushing of your spirit.
We can recognize when people we love are in pain, and of course, it’s natural to want to help. We can’t save other people, or fix them, though, or make them see how beautiful they are. The reality is when a person is in acute pain, you’re likely to get some spillover.
This is where boundaries come into play. Standing up for yourself does not run counter to having empathy. You empathize, but you get the hell out of Dodge and do that from a distance where you can still honor and protect your own gorgeous heart. If someone is in a space where they abuse you, neglect you, belittle you, or discard you like trash, you really can’t participate in that and feel good about yourself. It’s okay, and it’s imperative to say no sometimes. No, this is not okay for me. You deserve love and kindness and respect as much as anyone else, and you serve no one by forgetting that, or compromising your own sense of what’s right.
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we never thought we’d allow. I think most of us have been there at least once. Sometimes it’s romantic relationships, sometimes it’s familial, once in awhile we allow ourselves to be abused by a “friend” or co-worker or boss. Maybe it’s insidious. Things start out well enough, but little by little things deteriorate, until one day we wake up and wonder what happened, and how exactly we landed ourselves in this painful situation.
Start where you are. If you’re being abused in any way, get yourself some support. Gather yourself up and remember your work here is to love and to shine and to connect, and do whatever you need to do to make yourself safe. That’s your baseline job. That’s the number one thing. Until that basic need is met, until it’s safe for you to be vulnerable, you won’t be living.
Sending you love,
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2 thoughts on “Boundaries”
WOW! This resognated so deep with me, so HEALING and soothing. Exactly what I needed. On time confirmation. Sending love back, Thanks Ally 🙂
Glad it came at the right time 🙂