“It turns out that the more intimate we are with what we want, the more self-aware we will be about how we spend our time.” –Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must
When we take ourselves seriously and really begin to care for ourselves, we become more ourselves.
When we become more ourselves, we recognize how to take care of ourselves better, and we become even more ourselves.
When we become even more ourselves, we can, with integrity, fully take our place as unique whole/parts (aka “holons”) in Creation’s mysterious cosmic building project.
As we become more intimate with what we yearn for and what brings us joy, we become less tolerant of making choices that waste our time.
As we become less tolerant of making choices that aren’t in alignment with our values and desires, as we begin to choose real self-care, two apparent problems arise:
- The ways we’ve been propping up other people become obvious, and we’ll need to stop because we’re no longer willing to treat ourselves badly and waste our time for the sake of someone else’s supposed welfare.
- The people around us will probably feel threatened by our choices. They will perceive our decisions as judgmental of them, and unloving. They will feel scared and will try to get us to stop. They will call us “selfish.”
This is where boundaries come in. Boundaries are simple, but not necessarily easy. Boundaries say, “This is me. That is you. I’m responsible for me. You’re responsible for you.”
Simple, but not automatically easy, because most of us, women especially, haven’t learned to set and keep good boundaries.
We’ve been taught that giving ourselves away is love.
What’s true is that we love better from a place of integrity. We love better from our intact, deep, strong, intentional hearts. We love better when we choose our “yes” and our “no.”
Boundaries aren’t selfish.
Boundaries are a gift we give ourselves, our families, our friends, and our world.
Boundaries allow us to love as only we can love.
And I’m firmly convinced that healthy boundaries and good self-care make Jesus happy.
Coming up: how to handle the inevitable conflicts that arise when we’re acting with integrity and self-love.