Self Love and Setting Boundaries

Too long have we disregarded our feelings, disregarded our needs. We have accommodated for others and made ourselves small. We make excuses for the behavior of others and tell ourselves to, “be the bigger person.” Meanwhile, history repeats itself again, and again, and again. We come up with excuse after excuse giving ourselves permission to be abused. We allow ourselves to be small, to accommodate for others, and hold space for the pain of others.

The “Me too” campaign brought to the surface the topic of women and sexual abuse. Woman after woman coming out of the woodworks to share their stories. One story I read, really resonated with me. This story was about all the times this woman had made excuses for the way she was treated by men. It made me realize how many times I myself had made excuses.

As the holidays roll around, it can be a bittersweet time for people. It is a time of joy, of endings, and new beginnings. It is a time for community and relationships. For many, the holidays can bring up many family wounds. We find ourselves trapped in this belief that blood is thicker than water and that we must spend time with people who make us miserable because they are our blood.

At your table there sits many archetypes. The over bearing mother, who makes you and everyone else feel like a child. The abusive uncle, who raises topics to spark a reaction and push his agenda. The one with no boundaries, who doesn’t respect your personal space. The one who lets everyone walk all over her in hopes to appease the situation and make everyone happy. For some these archetypes are extreme, the man you call family, who molested you as a child and made it seem like nothing is wrong and so you keep your mouth shut. Fights ensue, and yet somehow, you end up back up in this place where everyone pretends, pretends things are okay, pretends to love each other, so you can all just get along.

This thanksgiving played out like a charade before me, with many of these archetypes and situations. And it has led me to examine my beliefs surrounding family. I want to remind any of you that find yourself in my shoes:

  1. Take up your space. If you need to be alone, be alone. If you want to choose not to spend time with someone, choose that.
  2. Stop making excuses. It wasn’t okay for mom to yell at you over not having the house perfectly clean. It’s not okay for uncle to cuddle up next to your 5 year old daughter. Your son doesn’t have to hug auntie because she’s family. And you do not have to stand for it and make it okay.
  3. Forgive yourself for your wrongs and release the blame. You can not control the actions of others.
  4. Make peace with yourself, speak your truth, and honor your needs.

You deserve good memories and fantastic holidays.

Be bold. Be beautiful. Be you.

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