setting boundariesThis morning someone sent me this great quote. I was just going to share it with a few lines on my Facebook page but quickly realized I had a lot more to say about this than just a couple of sentences.

In the past I didn’t value myself, especially in relationships. I felt like I needed to bend over backwards and keep my opinions to myself in order to keep the other person in my life. In my mind, having that relationship was going to make me happy. I now realize how ridiculous that sounds. But I spent most of my life believing it. I thought if I made waves by setting boundaries I would end up alone and unhappy.

When the day came that I started valuing myself, it did cause waves. I was changing. I was learning to set boundaries and demand respect for those boundaries. Ultimately I did end up alone. For a while, I was unhappy. I was unhappy because I still thought I needed a relationship to make me happy. I hadn’t learned that what I needed was inside of myself.

Now that I have been on my own for almost four years now, I can see my past more clearly. I can see how not setting boundaries was just another way of not caring for myself. I took on more than I could handle. I compromised my own values. I put others before myself. In the end, I was miserable. At the time I couldn’t see it though. I thought, if I could just make everyone else happy, they would see how hard I am working to help them and they will in turn take care of me and then I would finally be happy. That’s never the case though. The only person that can make me happy is me.

It wasn’t until I started taking care of myself and putting value in myself that I started to see how unhappy I was. I started to realize how good it felt to set boundaries and invest time in myself and the things I enjoy.

At first I felt guilty for setting boundaries. I thought people would think I was rude for saying no. I thought men would think I was stuck up or not interested. Then I realized, if they did, those weren’t the people I needed in my life. People that truly love me will respect my boundaries and want me to be happy.