It took me 7 days to figure out what to write about. Usually, I have my topics pre-planned but none of them felt right. None of them felt appropriate for this week. I found myself talking a lot about boundaries, friendship, and releasing over the weekend to multiple people. It was evident to me that many of us don’t set boundaries, especially in friendships. We allow ourselves to be a martyr for the sake of friendship.
I vote no.
Boundaries are essential to our everyday life. We need them in order to protect ourselves.
Therapists, healers, “the friend that’s always there”, all need boundaries for those they interact with.
Shit, we all need to set them.
When we don’t set boundaries we find ourselves in situations that really aren’t for us. We find ourselves being used or grouped into traumas that are not our own. We don’t deserve that. We also find ourselves giving so much without receiving that we become resentful. We don’t deserve that either.
I battled for most of my life with setting boundaries. I have found myself being put in compromising situations just for the sake of “being supportive”. I’ll be damned. It took me years of being burned out, secretly resentful, embarrassed and hurt to realize that I am not a martyr. I am not a mother to all. I am not a savior,
I realized, through therapy, that boundaries are important because without them you may become codependent on helping others….which can be manipulative in a way.
My boundaries change from person to person but the overarching "theme" (if you will) is "distance" and not being a "martyr". It hurt at first to set boundaries but I started small. I made myself more available to me than others. I made it clear when I didn’t want to or didn’t have time to do something. “No” became my favorite word. I ended friendships that no longer served me or that were attached to not-so-good people. I stopped going places I didn't want to go, this included family gatherings too.
I still struggle sometimes with boundaries when it comes to meeting new people but I am working harder on discernment and really allowing my inner compass to guide me. If I get a weird feeling about something or someone, it’s a hard stop for me now.
We don’t have to be everything for everybody. We never will be, so we have to stop trying. The only person we can be present for in that capacity is ourselves and even then we need boundaries. I set boundaries for myself, too. I know that I can only drink a little before I find myself drinking too much. I know I have to set boundaries for the environments I allow myself to go to. I know I have to set boundaries for the people I am around so that I don’t end up triggered. We need boundaries for ourselves too.
As the year closes out, I encourage you to reevaluate your relationships. I encourage you to see if you are a martyr and lack boundaries. Are you constantly being disrespected? Are you finding yourself in far too many compromising situations? Dead that shit. Set those boundaries.
It will not be easy but it will save your life. I know boundaries saved mine. Don’t feel guilty if others don’t get it, it’s not for them, it’s for you.
Protect and preserve your energy.