The first time I set a boundary with my now ex-husband during our divorce process was not only the first time I set a boundary with him, it was the first boundary I’d set with anyone in my entire life!
It was the first time I ever thought purely about my own needs, the first time I ever chose myself over another person. It was huge.
And that one seemingly insurmountable step inspired me to develop the courage to set more boundaries—healthy and necessary ones—well beyond my relationship with him.
Around that time, a friend called me up and said, “I’m having a terrible day. I need you to do something to make me happy.” Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth, I said, “Unfortunately, I’m no longer in the business of making other people happy.” I was half mortified I’d said that, but I was also proud. It was an important moment. By saying no when I needed to take care of myself, I was free to later choose—from a full-hearted place—to help my friend feel better if I wanted to do so. But it wasn’t my “job” to do that for her anymore.
As they say, nothing pours from an empty pitcher. We have to fill ourselves first. Otherwise, we are only giving out of obligation—not from our true desire—and that inevitably leads to resentment.
There are a number of steps you can take to start your own self-love map. Today I want you to try two of them.
- TAKE OFF YOUR CAPE.
If you’re like me, the habit of trying to take care of everyone else will be a tough one to break. Creating a new identity after my divorce allowed me to no longer be defined by heroic achievements. What a relief to relinquish the image of perfection I had been projecting out to the world! I took off my Superwoman cape and finally broke free from the persona I’d created to get validation.
Perhaps you, too, are soaring around, searching for love. Whatever the intention is beneath your need, know that you are not alone. Start slowly. First, try just tucking the superhero cape inside your shirt for a day or two. You don’t have to take it all the way off! Your ego will do its damnedest to pull it back out (to hell with boundaries!) and that’s okay. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re ready to start rescuing yourself instead of everyone else.
And if you’re like me, one day you’ll forget all about that cape. You’ll be cleaning out your closet and you’ll find it hiding back there between your winter parka and your raincoat. And you’ll smile. You’ll remember the thrill of being a superhero, but you won’t need that identity anymore. Somewhere along the way, through some miracle, you will have become comfortable with being exactly who you are—with all your positive and negative qualities.
- WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Make a list of what you want, but don’t yet have, in different areas of your life. Make sure to include work life, home life, relationships, health, finances, spiritual path, and any other areas that are important to you.
You’re On Your Way!
As you begin to set boundaries, remember that you’re walking yourself to the edge of the cliff where you’re preparing to jump. Each time you set a healthy boundary, you say yes to more freedom. Take a deep breath, and commit once again to having the courage to jump into your future.
Are you ready to keep building that self-love map? Sign up today for my Free Group Coaching Call.
Let’s keep this conversation going! Head on over to Facebook and tell me one boundary you are willing to set today!