You know instinctively how to care for others, whether it be by sending a love note or text, taking care of things before people realize they need them, providing comforts for meetings, parties, family, etc… This is a beautiful gift, because knowing how to meet people where they are (mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally), can bring such joy and love into the world. However, when your emotional sensitivity gets overused it feels simply awful.
You can feel taken advantage of or unappreciated. Often, instead of taking care of yourself (by setting healthy boundaries) you over-give until you’re empty. That state of exhaustion can create an urgent reaction—typically leading you to set extreme boundaries, sometimes suddenly. You may feel or even say “I’m done! I’m never going to deal with this person/situation again.” Extreme reactions often pounce from feeling cornered—spiritually drained, emotionally resentful, physically depleted, and mentally exhausted. Sound familiar? Set compassionate boundaries ahead of any situation to ensure you are full enough to share your talents, gifts, and care. Stop running on fumes without a drop left to give. You fill up your tank before it's empty—you charge your phone before you go out for the day, correct? You eat a proper meal to maintain stamina when busy, yes? Well, the same practice needs to be applied to your soul and well-being. Taking care of YOU is not selfish or greedy. It’s a promise you make to yourself that says, “I’m going to preserve my energy and apply it properly so that I can support both myself, my goals, and my loved ones.” It’s soul-nourishment, universe juice, divine chocolate.
The truth is: only you know where those boundaries are. You know instinctively that moment when a personal boundary is crossed or violated. Even if it’s a boundary you’ve never consciously spoken, the moment it’s crossed, you can feel it in your bones. It’s like cloud-cover starts rolling across the warm, sunny rays of your best intentions.
Those soul-boundaries are sacred ground. Their service and purpose are to honor your inner knowing and your own intuition—to keep you balanced and free of dis-ease. When you can honor those sacred promises within yourself, your whole world will shift. When you can speak these truths in a non-accusatory tone without guilt, coming from a place of freedom and kindness, you will find those around you will rise up to meet your new level of self-care. Remember, it’s not your job to fix anyone. Your job is to love and support in a balanced and healthy way; to exchange energy, in equal communion, with the people and situations that are a part of your journey. How can someone honor and respect you, when you forget to honor and respect yourself?
As you go through this world, my hope is that you end up learning both the power of boundaries and compassion. Activating these two tools will set you up for healthy relationships at home and at work. You’ll set yourself up for huge success by living a life you love. And living a life you love is the greatest outcome you can give to yourself, your loved ones, and your community. This is the self-care investment that pays out to everyone!