by Stephanie Tsang,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
I wanted to talk about something that has been a long working progress in my personal development. That is the concept of setting healthy boundaries. If you’re anything like me, I admit I have difficulty saying “no”.
I catch myself harboring guilt over taking money from people (that I’ve earned), it pains me to see anyone in sadness or anger…I go through great lengths to bring joy to others, and the list goes on.
The problem with this was that I ended up losing myself in the process of it all. After becoming burnt out many times over, I slowly forgot why I did what I did, I became a ghost of myself….
A transition took place, where what once felt like joy turned into ‘work’ which morphed into resentment. My lack of energy gave way to depression, anger, sadness, confusion. The emptiness seeped into all corners of my personal and work life. Has anything like this happened to you before?
The silly thing was there was no one else to blame but myself. I chose to give like the Giving Tree.
The lesson I want to share if there is anyone out there who resonates with this, is that it is important to love yourself. If I had endless bounds of energy, I would love to give and give. But, we live in a physical world with physical needs.
Beyond the physical world, there is the underlying concept of energetic balance. I denied this concept….convincing myself the pure joy from giving will sustain me. Yes, to some degree it did, but there was still a problem.
Giving yourself away is not something that can be simply replenished by others. And I want to say that the act of giving comes in many colors, may it be giving away free products and services to incessantly serving as the on-call-drop-everything unofficial counselor.
You have an active responsibility to yourself. It is important to honor yourself with healthy boundaries. It is not productive to give all of yourself away. It is not doing a service to this world to let your flame die out. What is productive is to be giving when we are the best version of one’s self.
As much as it is important to treat others as you wish to be treated, I constantly remind myself to love myself like I love others. In return, I have found I am able to love others more abundantly but in a beautiful sustainable way.
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