Musings, Relationships, Wellbeing

That’s not a barricade, it’s a boundary

I have grown up a lot in the past two years. I have moved through a lot of old habits and beliefs, created some healthy boundaries and torn down some limiting barriers.

Not that long ago, a great deal of my time and energy was spent on worrying about what other people thought about me. I would be awake nights worrying about what I said, how I said it or what I did and how someone may have interpreted it. I wasted a lot of time on things that other people likely didn’t even notice or give a second thought about. All of these worries fed into the giant not-good-enough hole I had inside of me.

It was hard to move forward with goals, to face the winds of change and challenge and make progress with a big old hole in my confidence. That type of hole cannot be filled from the outside no matter what I tried to patch it with, the healing could not happen from the outside-in. This was most definitely an inside job.

I’m certain that there are many people out there like me. I’m also fairly confident that they too hide behind makeup, clothes or fancy things so well that those closest to them don’t even know there is a problem. That is for certain the way it was with me. Being a less than whole person, without a complete sense of my true self-worth left me wide open to take on way more than my fair share obligations. I put myself firmly last on my own list.

What happened? To be honest, I cannot pinpoint one exact moment where things changed. I feel like rather than an instant shift I went through a slow metamorphosis, like a butterfly emerging from their chrysalis. Did you know it takes 10 – 14 days for that to happen to a butterfly? If you exponentially multiply the average butterfly times me; you get the picture. It didn’t happen overnight.

I think it started to happen after my daughter passed away at age five from a brain tumor. Just like a caterpillar on the way to a butterfly, I turned to mush for a while. I hardened my outer shell and took care of business. I made sure everyone else was okay, I was strong for my three boys and husband, along with everyone and anyone else who came along. On the outside, I appeared to be complete and handling everything like a boss. It’s interesting how many times, as a grieving mother, I felt the need to console others when they learned of my loss, but I digress.

Losing Alexandra taught me so many deep lessons, however it took me some time to actually come to terms with what that meant for my life. The first large boundary I set was in my marriage which resulted in a separation in June of 2011. I decided how I wanted my life to look, spelled it out and then set forward to create that life. This took a whole pile of courage to finally put myself first even though I believed this decision would upset my boys and many people around me.

I had to reach a very low point in my life where I was reduced to an emotional heap on the bathroom floor over and over again before I realized that I was mush and the only person who could transform the mush to something beautiful was me.

Boundaries matter for a healthy, self-directed life. No one else can set and maintain them for you. I have come a long way and internally fought myself along the way. The thing that kept me moving forward is the same thing I tell my classes and individual clients.

There is NO ONE ON EARTH who is going to put you first in your life but you. If you don’t decide to live your dreams and pursue the things that spark your fire, it simply won’t happen. You will never regret chasing your dreams. I know I don’t and my life gets better with every step I take in the pursuit of my beautiful life.

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