So why am I writing? Because this is therapeutic for me. And I have the feeling that someone out there needs a reminder on boundaries and self-love… and maybe a bit on self-confidence and the cycle of life as we know it. Let’s tackle them one by one to explain what I mean.
When someone mentions “having boundaries” we often think about what we will and won’t accept in a relationship, whether that be at home or at work. We think about how often we might find it acceptable for someone to make the same mistake, neglect to do something that was important to us, or not keep a promise, before we call it quits. But I see boundaries as more than that. For me, my boundaries include being fair to myself on things like leaving work to my work hours only, which can be difficult to stick to when you’re working from home and your work laptop is just sitting there, waiting for your attention for just “one more” email or task.
My boundaries also include being fair about my time in general and to ensure that my family time is spent completely and sincerely focussed on my children, so that when I ask each of them how their day was, I have the time set aside to sit and listen to their stories, and discuss the events of their day and their plan for tomorrow. Time that isn’t rushed or forced, and an interest that is genuine.
And then there’s the boundary for me and the promises that I’ve made to myself, that involves taking care of myself, on all levels, which kinda flows into self-love.
Self-love, which could also be called self-care, is about taking the time out to look after you. To know and understand that in order for you to be the best person you can be at work and at home, that you need to have your own needs met. That you’re worth it.
I know that for my children, I’m all they have. But that’s not the only reason why I take time out to look after myself. I do it because I love who I am as a person and I know that I have a lot to give back in this lifetime, which I can’t do to the best of my ability, if I’m not at my best, whether that be physically, mentally or emotionally. So if that means some other things need to take a back seat whilst I take the time to do me, then so be it.
And that leads us onto self-confidence.
I believe in me and my abilities. I’m well aware of what I’m good at, regardless of whether everyone else around me can see it, or acknowledge it. I’m okay with who I am today, right now. I know what I’m capable of and I know my worth. I’m not delusional about any of it – I know that I’m probably replaceable from a task perspective, at work, but no-one does me, like me. No-one else completes the tasks like I do. No-one else adds the flare to things the way I do. I know my worth and I’m confident in the fact that anything that I can’t get done today, will get done tomorrow and that it can wait until then. I’m confident that I’ve prioritised my tasks for today and that I’ll keep doing this tomorrow; And that I’ll do what I said I would and that I won’t be breaking any promises or agreements that I’ve made… because keeping my promises forms part of my boundaries and I stick to my boundaries.
It’s all very circular today, isn’t it? But that’s what life is: a cycle. One thing can trigger the next, which triggers the next. And you don’t want to be caught in a cycle of exhaustion. You need and want to keep that cycle to the things that make you happy; The things that make you smile. You need to add in time for yourself to take a break and replenish your energy. But what do you do, you may ask, if you find yourself stuck in a cycle filled with things that you don’t like? For instance, a job or career that just is boring or unfulfilling, and it all feels like an endless cycle of the same things that you don’t like. Well, to that, I say this: Make that one small change. Today. Now. Because that one small thing, will make a little small change to the next thing, and to the next, and the cycle will continue, but this time, it’ll slowly get better.
And isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what living is? Growing, learning, adapting, changing, continuously? So if you need to, take the time right now, to make a small change if you feel you need it, and stick to it. For you. You’ll see a difference to your daily cycle sooner than you think.