Usually, when we hear people refer to setting boundaries, they are talking about setting boundaries with or for other people. You know, don’t let people take advantage of you or use you, etc. But lately, I’ve been thinking about setting boundaries within myself. Here’s what I mean:
I am, at my core, by my very nature, a people pleaser. If you were to ask me to do you a favor, I would jump all over that, whether or not I realize it may not be within my power to provide. That’s okay; I’ll find a way to make it happen. I’m also not the person who’s going to bring chips and dip to the pot luck. Oh no, I’m the girl who’s going to scour Pinterest for that perfect recipe and march into the kitchen to whip it up from scratch. Then I’m going to take it a step further and figure out how I can divide it up into single servings to make it easier for people to eat. And I’m probably going to spend the extra money on some cutesy accoutrement like fancy cupcake wrappers or some other such needless thing. See, I like to make people happy. That’s who I am. I want you to feel good, and not only that, but I want you to remember later just how good you felt at the time.
But here’s the thing: I overextend myself. I made a simple request into a grand ordeal. And I very likely spent more money than I should have budgeted in the process. Or I gave too much of my time and energy, and now I’m exhausted, dehydrated, and miserable.
I tend to approach spiritual work the same way. I want each and every client to get everything they can possibly get out of each session with me, whether it’s a private reading or a Q & A on Facebook. I like to wring that time dry, whether it’s 5 minutes or 60 minutes. And I realize that for some people, sometimes my best isn’t good enough. And that’s okay. I’m human, not a machine, so occasionally, performance standards drop. I try to alleviate that with proper self care, but since I so badly want to please (yes, I’m like a golden retriever) I’m more likely to sacrifice my own well being for someone else’s. Someone else who may appear uncaring or ungrateful in the wake of all my hard work and sacrifice. And no one likes to feel unappreciated. Spiritual work is incredibly draining. It take a lot of focus and commitment. As much as I love doing it, it’s exhausting.
So, I’m making a conscious effort to dial it back. I’m still going to give my clients 100%. Just maybe not 150%. You know that saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” I’m responsible for taking care of me so I can take care of you. And hopefully, you’re taking care of you, so if/when the time comes, you can take care of me.
My Plan for Self Care:
- Remind myself it’s okay to say NO sometimes, even if it means turning away a client.
- Drinking more water.
- Spending more time outside.
- Not letting my fear of disappointing someone drive me to do too much.
- More naps!