Standing in your power is not a concept. It's active. It's about making choices that align you with your highest self. One of the most difficult areas people struggle with that hold them back from standing in their power is having healthy boundaries.
I learned the boundary lesson the hard way.
I was in a relationship with a man who was going through some very legitimately challenging times. His Dad had died right before we met, and his mom died a year later. He was going through a huge period of loss, no doubt, but he was throwing me around like a rag doll. He pushed me away, and then desperately pulled me back in over and over again.
And I went along with it.
I felt so deeply for him and his losses, and I loved him. Then one day, when he wasn't feeling well, he wanted me to come see him (this was a common occurance—me traveling to him), and I checked traffic to see that it would take me 2 hours in bumper to bumper traffic. I was already exhausted from a long day I had and told him I didn’t have the energy to deal with it that day.
He played the worthy game (ya know, the game where one person puts their unworthiness beliefs onto you in an effort to get you to do something they want you to do). It left a bad taste in my mouth, and I got off the phone.
But then I thought, “What if that were me, and I really needed someone to be there for me?” And so I grabbed a care kit of movies, tea, and snacks, and I hit the road. About twenty minutes in I called to surprise him with the news that I was on my way.
He was far from enthused, and so I turned around with tears streaming down my face. He continued to call me repeatedly all the way home and then desperately begged me for another hour to come see him. And guess what I did? I got back in my car and sat in two hours (now making it 3 hours) of traffic.
I was beyond exhausted. I had no energy to interact with him. I was completely depleted. I remember showing up at his door knowing that it was over. I had nothing else left to give.
I recognized that I had been putting his needs ahead of my own for so long that I felt completely lost and empty.
I had nothing else to give him and nothing to give myself. I left that relationship the next day and with a valuable lesson about myself: I gave my power away.
I was always willing to drop everything for everyone else. I was always putting my needs second. And what I learned in that relationship is that the people who are meant to be in my life are ones who will respect my boundaries, but I am the one who has to set them. No one else can do it for me.
I’m telling you this story today because it’s an essential component to feeling beautiful. When you give your power away you deflate. You have nothing left to give to yourself. In my relationship it had become very clear to me that I had nothing left to give. I was emptied out.
We can’t be empty. Empty doesn’t work for self-love.
You have to be able to give to yourself first. It all starts with you. And you need to be the one who stands by your own side. You need to be the one who draws the line. You need to be the one who makes it ok to leave toxic relationships, to say no when you need to and be ok with it. This is self-care.
A really powerful way to begin looking at boundaries in your life is to look at how often you explain or justify yourself. Instead, start to give people yes or no answers. See how they push back. Stand your ground. This will begin to teach you a lot about yourself and the people you have in your life.
My ex didn't respect my boundaries when I told him I was too exhausted to drive. Instead he pushed. People push in very sneaky ways so pay close attention here. Also begin to notice how you respect other people's boundaries. Are you always looking to get your way or are you respecting what they are stating their needs are?
If you want a better life, to feel better, to be happier, to do all of the amazing things you want to do, you have to be willing to give yourself what you need. Putting healthy boundaries in place allows you to maintain your energy and create a healthier relationship to yourself and other people.
I stand in my power.
Keep on looking into your beautiful eyes!