This is an amazing article written by Dawn Allen, an expert in Dating & Relationship Advice!
“BOUNDARIES!” Nadia screamed at me in her heavy Eastern European accent. “You have GOT to learn how to have boundaries or you will never achieve the kind of success you are meant to have in this world. You have GOT to learn how to say NO in a healthy way, especially to those closest to you and those who are trying to take advantage of your time and energy…”
Okay, Nadia, I get it. I’ve got to have boundaries.
Nadia is one of the most brilliant people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Who is she?
Nadia Tumas is an incredibly gifted and talented hand analyst and life purpose coach. She recently did a hand analysis for me and helped me discover some pretty amazing things about myself and my life.
Nadia, however, does not mince words. She cautioned me at the beginning of our session that she ‘tells it like she sees it’ so to speak (according to our hands) and does not hold back from saying the truth that we may not like, but that we need to hear.
I took a deep breath and told her to go for it. I was ready to hear everything she had to say.
As Nadia proceeded to describe in detail all the positive and not-so-positive aspects of my personality (all of which were unbelievably accurate), she also explained what I needed to do in order to really fulfill my life purpose and potential, which according to her was that of being a successful leading mentor in the spotlight with a message of love for the world.
“Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries,” she kept saying repeatedly. “Learn to have boundaries or else…”
Okay, so boundaries and saying No to people has never been my strong suit.
It’s much easier for me to say yes and give in to other people’s requests.
The problem with that, of course, is that I end up sacrificing huge amounts of time and energy to things and people that aren’t necessarily supporting my life goals.
It’s not their fault. They’re just asking. And people should always feel free to ask. Or at least I want them to always feel free to ask.
But I should also feel free to say No… and I don’t always feel that way.
There’s a part of me deep down that struggles with saying no to people out of fear of rejection.
And not feeling good enough or worthy enough to put a priority on myself, my feelings and my time.
This has shown up for me time and time again in my life… in my work, in my relationships, in everything.
But in my desire to serve others, I was getting left out. My needs and desires were getting pushed to the side over and over and over again.
And how can we ever truly serve others if we’re not first serving ourselves?
Eventually we just run out of steam. Our energy runs dry.
Nadia pointed out to me that my hands were screaming out for help. My over-giving and self-sacrifice in some of my relationships was leaving me with nothing left to support myself.
How could I move forward in life if I had no energy left for my goals and dreams?
The well was about to run dry.
I looked up at the Mission Statement I had written for my life the year I started coaching five years ago… “I am here to teach love & that we might all know we are loved. The path of Spirit is right where we are & our connection to Spirit is there all the time. Walk down your path & know that you are loved & perfect the way you are. The answer to everything on this path is love.”
But was I really loving myself?
Was I honoring my own Path?
Not so much.
So that day, on the phone with Nadia, I made the commitment that I would start creating space for myself and having healthy boundaries in place in all my relationships.
Honest to goodness no sooner did I get off the phone with Nadia and the first person to call me was my ex-husband, who I’ve had continuing boundary issues with during our entire relationship, but particularly so since we got divorced.
I’m thinking to myself as I’m listening to him… You have GOT to be kidding me? Really? Really? Must I be tested on my commitment to this already?!!!
Can’t I even get a little break or semi-hiatus out of acknowledgment for having made this commitment?
No, I guess not. Because the first thing my dear ex-husband did was launch into a rendition of “I want you to do this for me…” And it happened to be something I had already said No to in the past and which he continued to try and guilt me into doing.
And normally, I would have given in… just to done with it. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
But Nadia’s voice kept nagging at me in the back of my head… boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.
So… tuh-dah! I said No for the first time. I had to say it about 5 different times, 5 different ways and then again in about 4 different emails. But I stuck to it and kept saying it from a place of love, not anger.
Because when I thought about it, it wasn’t his fault. I had never shown him anything different other than being someone who would give in… generally out of fear of rejection or anger.
And this No was coming from a place of love for myself… and therefore a place of love for him too.
I just needed to show him a different interaction in our relationship. One where I was now going to honor my feelings and say no to requests that didn’t feel right.
It took awhile, but he finally got it. Amazingly, the final communication between us ended from a very loving place for both of us. That was a first. And believe me, it did feel like magic.
I hate to say it, but retraining the people in our lives that we want/need/expect to be treated differently, is a lot like retraining dogs.
We don’t have to get mad at a dog for not understanding our new requests. We just have to be consistent and persistent in what we’re teaching them to do and how we’re training them to treat us.
And we do teach the people in our lives how to treat us. That is our responsibility, not theirs.
We have to take a stand for ourselves. But first we have to love ourselves enough to take that stand.
Love yourself enough to take a stand for your life… with everyone in your life.
Let me know how you do…
© 2010 Dawn Allen
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this with it:
Dawn Allen is a Dating & Relationship Advice Expert for Women. She is founder of Inspired Heart Coaching and the transformational “HeartsWork” Programs. Dawn specializes in helping women over 40 find the next love of their life and have the deep, magical and loving relationship of their dreams.
In her powerful and transformational programs, Dawn guides you to transform pain into power; move beyond fear, resentment and other sabotaging emotions; rebuild self-respect, self-confidence and self-love; and supports you in reinventing a life filled with love and inspiration.
To receive Dawn’s Free E-Book, “4 Secrets to Finding Your Soul Mate” as well as dating & relationship advice, visit http://www.InspiredHeartCoaching.com. To contact Dawn directly, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.