Indulge me for a moment? Imagine that inside me there is a bright light shining outward. It glows from deep within me. Imagine now that you have a similar light inside you. This light connects to mine and glows along with mine, but is always separate from mine, no matter how beautifully it may glow with yours. While we are connected by the glow of our light, we are also separated by the uniqueness of our own light that comes from within each us.
In order for us to function effectively in our world, we need to allow ourselves to have a concept of both connectedness and uniqueness. When we feel connected to one another we feel a sense of belonging, friendship and love. When we recognize our uniqueness we feel strength, personal power and self-love. Recognizing our boundaries, knowing what I am responsible for and what you are responsible for, is crucial for living a happy, healthy life. When we take responsibility for things that are not ours to control, we typically feel ineffective, while others may feel resentful and ultimately rejecting of us. When we let others take take control of things we are responsible for, we may feel powerless and resentful. The trick of course, is paying attention to how you feel. When anger and resentment begin to take over, this is a sign that you have lost touch with your boundaries and have allowed them to be breeched; you have either given away too much, or allowed yourself to take on what is not yours.
Allowing yourself to identify what your boundaries are…what you’re OK saying “yes” to, and what you cannot allow to occur in your life, is a step towards sitting comfortably in your world, letting your light shine brightly in compliment with others. However, losing touch with your boundaries, saying “yes” to all and “no” to none, dims your light, making you feel less than you actually you are.
Honoring yourself by nurturing and protecting that light within you, in full awareness of its uniqueness and its ability to beautifully connect you with others, puts you on a path towards happiness that you can follow for the rest of you life.
Food for thought, anyhow?
Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.