This morning, I posted the comment, "If something is in your life, you are choosing it. True or False".
The comments were varied but without question split between true and false. Some people questioned the idea. . . wanted to believe that it was true, but how could it be? Others were far more certain that it was indeed false, things happen to us that we can't control.
So, who's right? Well, it doesn't really matter. I guess I would say both since we are all in different places, different circumstances in life. Some of us are dealing with really hard stuff right now and that makes it really hard to see how we can have any control over what's happening. Neither is wrong.
There are three things that can help us become more in control of what is happening in our life: acceptance, loving ourself, and creating boundaries. Each of these things requires tremendous courage and the willingness to do things we haven't done before. You will need to have HARD conversations, deal with DEEP issues, and CHALLENGE the people in your life. Are you willing to do it?
This one is hard, no doubt. Probably the hardest of all things for codependent people to take on. And, it is also one of the most important things. It's foundational.
If you have someone in your life that is behaving in a way that you are not loving, you are not alone. It is a really hard thing to accept the people in our life as they are. Often, the difficulty stems from us being able to see that they are capable of so much more than they are currently doing. It's hard to see people not be all they can be. Yet, we can't change people. We can't make them do the things we want and wish for them.
Ask yourself this question: "Can I accept my loved one just as he/she is?". I had a really big breakthrough when my therapist asked this question of me. She continued by telling me how my life was being affected because I wasn't accepting this person. She told me this person may never change. Was I willing to be miserable for the rest of my life?
No. I wasn't. It took some time, but over the course of a few weeks, I was able to let this idea of who I thought someone could be go. I just let it go. I no longer EXPECTED more from this person, I fully understood and accepted that they were doing the best they could, at the moment, with what they had. That's all we are all really trying to do.
Ya, ya, I know. Everyone is talking about this, but there's a reason for it. Once you start to love yourself again, everything shifts. We don't accept a lot of crap anymore. Our standards shift and we don't allow behavior towards us that we used to take without complaint. We let go of the people that don't make us happy. We surround ourselves with good people, the type of people that fill us up. We demand better from those around us and they are more than willing to give us the love we need.
So, how do we actually love ourselves? I started my journey by staring into my eyes in the mirror. Try it for 60 seconds every morning or night. When your thoughts start heading into a negative pattern shift it to a positive. I struggle with acne on my chin so if that was my thought I would discard it. Let it go and choose something positive to focus on, like my smile. Keep discarding those negative thoughts and hold onto the positive ones. Name as many as you can. Don't be scared to look deep into your own eyes. It is incredibly uncomfortable at first but I promise, it will get easier and easier every time. Now, when I do this with intention, I look into my eyes and smile. Every time. You can, too.
CHANGE IS HARD
Yes, it is damn hard. But, we can start with some simple things to begin the shift to a more peaceful place. Know that people are going to be upset and not understand when you start to put boundaries in place. They have come to expect a certain behavior from you based on your past actions and now you are challenging it. It's going to make people around you uncomfortable. What is more important to you: Helping others feel comfortable -OR- Feeling inner peace and contentment?
My boundaries guide "Build Fences, Not Walls" is a perfect place to start. I'll walk you through my BIG IFB process and help YOU identify the boundaries that YOU need. In it, we write out our ISSUES, talk about how they make you FEEL, and how they make you BEHAVE. Get it? The BIG IFB :) From there, you'll decide how you want to feel and behave instead and create boundaries that match what you want.
If you have someone or something in your life providing you with stress and anxiety, consider this: What are you tolerating? It's a tough question because many things in our life seem out of our control (and some are), but in most cases we can change how we behave, how we react. No, we can't cure diseases or change the people in our lives. But, we can change how we behave so that our inner peace is protected. We get to do that.
But, you must be brave enough and willing to do that hard work. You might not be ready right now. That's okay. Come back when you are. Prioritize yourself, let people know what to expect from you by modeling that behavior now. Practice loving yourself. Life is damn hard, but we get to choose our hard.
If you'd like to explore this concept more, book a no-cost call HERE. I'd love to chat with you and see if some support could help you find YOUR inner peace.