I sit here reflecting about all the changes that have happened in this last year. There has been so much that has unraveled in my life. Things that I would have never expected or thought would have happened.
One thing that stands out is that I experienced some of the most scrutinizing lessons from people that I trusted for many years. This really put me to the test. I had to learn how to show up and truly believe in myself in the face of adversity. I had to learn how to be in projected anger that was directed at me because someone had to be blamed.
I can’t describe how challenging this was day in and day out. I tried to reason, justify, defend and rationalize myself. I spent countless hours trying to convince others that there was a better way. It didn’t work. In the end, the only thing that worked was setting boundaries. Setting boundaries about what I would tolerate from other people and how I was to be treated. Even if I were in the wrong, it was still not a reason to be treated the way that I was.
What was interesting is that similar situations had been played out with many women over my lifetime. This started with my mom, to a few best friends from middle school, high school, the early '20s, later '20s and throughout my 30's. The common theme was that these situations were all women and they all ended up crossing personal boundaries and treating me in ways that I would never dream of treating another person. I couldn't help but wonder why this pattern kept repeating itself?
When I finally took the time out and looked at the core of these repetitive circumstances, I realized that the one common denominator was me. I was always involved. I was always giving away my power. Why was I engaging in this over and over again? It came to be that I had to learn the hard lesson of creating personal boundaries. I had to set the boundary to the people around me and the universe at large that I was done with having my sense of self-questioned. I was done doubting my motives, I was done caring so much about other peoples opinions of me and I was done not believing in myself. More than any of it, I was done with people pleasing for the sake of losing myself.
I had to take great risks when I set these boundaries. It wasn’t easy and it was honestly one of the most stressful 8 months of my short life that I had to endure. I feared that making this commitment to myself would result in people leaving me and I would be alone. But, at the end of the day, I felt I had to take the risk because the way I was allowing others to treat me was not healthy. I realized that I could not change anyone through people pleasing and justifying- they weren’t going to treat me better unless I took a hard stance to treat myself better. To believe that I deserved better.
Much to my surprise, setting boundaries and taking the risk, worked out perfectly. It was a rapid turn around. I was amazed that when I finally stood up and said to the universe that I was done- it was as though the universe said: “FINALLY- THANK YOU!” It all ceased within a short amount of time.
Ironically, the people who I thought would leave me, didn’t. As the year went on, they ended up appreciating me more and I developed a trust in myself that I never had before. When I had doubts, I would acknowledge them and push them away. My faith in myself grew and boundary setting has become a thing of the past and something I am finally comfortable with. Letting go and not holding on so tightly to the outcome. Trusting that the universe, divine, god- whatever you want to call it- had my back.
I have so much gratitude for 2018. What turned out to be one of the hardest lessons for me was the best lesson for my spiritual and self-growth thus far. My life has evolved in ways I never thought were possible. I have been able to develop deeper connections with the people around me. I became healthier, more clear-headed, my business grew, my personal relationships became more fulfilling, expectations were let go and I find more joy in just about everything I do.
I am not sure what to end this post with. Perhaps, that sometimes old habits still creep up within me. Sometimes, I fall back, but I catch myself quickly. I trust that I won't slip back into old patterns. I suppose for me, I have never-ending gratitude to myself for finally learning a lesson that has ended decades of people pleasing for the sake of losing myself.