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Boundaries are Healthy for Relationships

One of the most self-loving actions I take is refusing to associate with people who are constantly negative or abusive. No matter if they are family, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers, I do not allow abuse, gossip, negativity, or being treated with disrespect. Love is positive behavior like appreciation, cooperation, honesty, loyalty, patience, support, etc.  So, negative behavior should not be tolerated, especially by those closest to us. 

Yes, it is easier to set and uphold boundaries with strangers. Yet, it is with our family, friends, and those we interact with on a regular basis that we have the most influence.  Our intimate relationships are the ones that are to be most loving and supportive. Therefore, our happiness and peace of mind are worth more than keeping abusive people in our life using fear-based excuses like – I do not want to be lonely, or they will change someday, or I can’t stop being around family. When we set strong and clear boundaries, and those limits are repeatedly ignored, it is time to change the situation which may include removing ourselves or them from our lives. 

This week remember, just because setting a boundary with someone may become uncomfortable for them, and you, does not mean you must back down. Setting a boundary with abusive and controlling people is challenging the power they think they hold over you. To create your best life you must keep your personal power. Do not give it away by feeling guilty or allowing someone to talk you out of the decision you made for the greatest good. In your heart you know it is the right decision. Part of loving yourself is to stay the course no matter what anyone else says. The truth is, if they knew better they would do better.  Since you do know better you must be the one who does better.

Confidence Comes From Within

It may seem to you that I am a super confident person. Well, the truth is I am. And, I was not always completely comfortable being in my own skin. 

For many years I sought approval from outside. I did not want to rock the boat so too often I allowed myself to be treated like a door mat. I went against my values to be liked or to go along with the crowd. I only thought I was successful if other people said I was. I felt pretty only when someone said I was. I thought other people could make better decisions about my life than I could.  But, no matter what support I got or how other people built me up I was never satisfied.                     

One day I realized that validation for who I am must come from within. Only when I look to myself for approval am I genuinely satisfied with the decisions I make or how I look.  Only when I stay aligned with my values do I walk away proud of myself. Regardless what anyone else thinks, my life is a success only when I consider it to be. 

There is a difference between needing validation and wanting support.  Needing someone to validate us is placing the responsibility for our identity and worth outside ourselves. Support is when someone aligns with what we already know to be true about ourselves and our values.   

Grow your self-confidence by remaining aligned with your values. Look to yourself for the honest validation you want. Trust yourself to weigh the facts so you make your own decisions. Don’t wait for someone to tell you how wonderful you are. Take the lead in supporting yourself because when you are your own best friend and biggest fan you will truly feel loved and that is a super confidence builder.


Refuse to Ego-Box

When a stranger just comes out of left field and is rude to you he or she is already angry at something or someone else and you just happen to get in their way. 

It happened to my partner and me today when a woman started shouting at us at a red light. It was clear she was enraged but not at us. We were already stopped at the light when she drove up. When we happened to look over she just went ballistic. My partner and I both took a deep breath and ignored her. As soon as the light changed she floored it and sped away still angry at anyone and everyone.   

The key thing to remember is that when someone is so enraged they are willing to take it out on an innocent stranger they are not thinking. They are on auto-pilot of deeply wounded ego. There is no talking to them to point out how they are behaving. Most likely they are aware of their behavior but are blinded by their ego so they are looking for someone, anyone to pick a fight with. 

Don’t take it personally because when people do something like this they are directing their self-hatred outward. They are really mad at themselves and vomit their self-hatred onto others rather than look within to deal with the source of their pain.   

Love yourself more by being the emotionally responsible one and refuse to engage. No, it is not easy but it is definitely worth you taking the high road to not get involved with someone and their raging ego.

Give Second Chances

Over a year ago I banned a man from the Romancing Your Soul Facebook page who was abusive to me and other people.  Recently he wrote an email through this website asking if I would consider unblocking him on FB so he could participate again. He expressed doubt I would because if he were me he probably would not. I gave him access, allowing him to be part of our group again. 

For me it is important to give people the benefit of the doubt and another chance. It took me many, many mistakes to learn before I got to the place of consistently living my best life so why would I expect anyone else to get it on the first or even second attempt. 

It makes us feel good to support other people on their journey to do their best life. So it is important for us to accept that people will have bad days but that does not make them bad people. 

Treating other people as we want to be treated is giving second chances. Then we watch for the behavior that is a clear sign someone has changed for the better. And, if someone goes back to how they were before, we set another boundary.


Stop Trying and DO

I tried to quit smoking for many years. I actually quit smoking cold turkey when I stopped trying and I just refused to allow myself to pick up even one cigarette. Each moment that went by and I did not succumb to rationalizations of you can ‘have just one’ I got stronger. It was by not picking up even one that I proved to myself yes I am quitting.

I tried for a long time to stop letting the bad behavior of other people get under my skin. I actually stopped letting other people’s bad behavior push my buttons when one day I took a deep breath and just refused to engage.  Doing it once was what I needed to prove to myself it was really possible.  With practice no longer choosing to ego-boxing became my new norm. 

We are not powerless over our own life. We are not powerless over our ego. We are not powerless over our mind that has a mind of its own. WE are the higher, wiser, controlled, patient and loving Self with power over each of our thoughts, words and deeds. 

Our happiness, peace, self-respect and self-love come from making ourselves take the actions we know need to be taken to create the life we really want.  Yes we can accomplish the goals we set for ourselves, when we love ourselves enough to stop trying and actually do what it is we say we want to do.


Violent is Not Our Nature

I do not believe human beings are by nature violent. I believe we are so much bigger than that. Yet we do not have to look far to realize that today we continue to live in a violent world.  But we do not have too. We are choosing too. And that means we must understand and accept responsibility for allowing ourselves to become desensitized to violence instead of growing ourselves out of this primitive mentality.

Through television, movies and video games we are programmed to believe fighting one another is how to solve problems and conflicts. We begin to buy the lie that it is possible to hit another person in the head with a baseball bat and have them remain unfazed, get up and continue fighting.  As someone that was accidentally hit full swing in the head with a bat, I promise no one simply gets up – ever.

What we put into our mind and heart is what we become. WE must be the one to protect ourselves because those who continue to serve up violence, stupidity, ridicule, cruelty and irresponsible behavior masquerading as entertainment are not the ones who have our best interest at heart. The society we are creating is a reflection of the types of unconsciousness we are allowing ourselves to be exposed to.

It is time to say enough already! You and I do have the power to put an end to the idea violence, disrespect, and control is the answer to creating a better world.  Not true. Protect your mind and heart and those of your loved ones. Turn the violence, ridicule, bullying, carelessness, irresponsible sexual behavior and constant negativity off. It’s not just a movie or television show or video game. Negative behavior changes our brain for the worse. Positive changes our brain for the better. It is time to accept responsibility for choosing positive.

Pigs Can Fly

In 1980 two people I know met and fell in love.  They are extraordinary people with deep values. They are honest, kind, compassionate, love animals and work each day to make the world and the lives of other people better.  Because of their shared values and common goals they have been together happily for 33 years. And for 33 years they have waited for the day they could get married. 

Today my friend told me they are planning the ceremony.  He shared that there is a picture of a flying pig on the invitation. He said, “I know it is a strange thing to have on a wedding invitation but we thought we would get married only when pigs could fly.” 

I am so happy for my friends. I am pleased that two very good men are finally getting to realize their dream. I am happy that we are learning to accept love in all of its forms. I am happy that pigs have learned to fly.

Let go of Trying to be Perfect

I am so glad I stopped trying to be perfect. Working so hard attempting to be something that was impossible to attain was a drag.  It was depressing to stumble and fall and then beat myself up for thinking I should have done better. Or that I was stupid or not trying hard enough. 

One day I had enough with being a perfectionist and then a funny thing happened.  When I stopped worrying about making mistakes I stopped making as many mistakes.  Instead of being nervous that I would mess up I was able to focus on whatever I was doing so I actually did my best.    

I am not perfect and don’t plan to ever be. But that does not mean I let my behavior slide. No, I work very hard to be the best me possible.  I carefully watch what I say, what I think, my actions, and how I treat myself, other people and all life. And if I mess up I do my best to learn from the mistake. 

Yes, I am happier and create my life better now. And, since I stopped trying to be perfect I no longer expect other people to be perfect either. Boy has that helped strengthen all of my relationships. Especially the one I have with me.

You Can Only Control Yourself

Today a man I do not know apparently slandered me to a neighbor.  The man supposedly told my neighbor that I said bad things about her to him.  She was upset but she also knows me well enough to not automatically believe what the man claimed I said. So she wrote an email to confront me about it.  I calmly replied that she was right in that I did not say anything about her and that the man either made it up or he had me confused with someone else. 

I did not let her email or his words upset me for even one moment. Why, because I was completely innocent.  I have only spoken to the man once and our exchange was not only witnessed by another person but was completely friendly. 

We cannot control what other people say, think or even make up about us. The only control we have is to be our best self and if someone does slander us we have faith that the people who really know us will stand up for us against those who do not.

Forgiveness is Freedom

Someone I thought was a friend betrayed me. My ego tells me “How in the world could they do that to me. They should have known better.” My heart tells me, “If they truly were connected to their emotions to feel what it is like to be on the receiving end of their behavior they would have not done what they did.”

If I choose to listen to my ego I will suffer under the idea they should have done better, that there is no excuse for their behavior.  My ego will hold onto the idea they can go back and make what they did wrong, right. My ego will keep me angry, blaming, judgmental and distant. If I choose to listen to my ego I will throw them out of my life for making a mistake.

If I choose to listen to my heart then I will release the stress that comes from holding onto resentment and anger. My heart knows they cannot go back and make it right. My heart is willing to accept their apology and give them another chance. My heart will carefully watch their behavior. If I choose to listen to my heart I will move on without dragging the pain and disappointment along with me.

Even though my ego tells me that they do not deserve to be forgiven it is my wise heart that reminds me no one is perfect. I want peace and to not feel bad so, I choose to listen to my heart.