Everything begins and ends with you

alone

Photo by: Keoni Cabral

I noticed that the times I felt most powerless were when I feared what a person or a group of people would think about my decisions and choices. Will he, she, they be okay with this? Will I be ostracized for this? Will I be cut off? I later realized that telling MY truth and being true to myself first and foremost was not only the best course of action for me but also helpful to other people who want to be truthful and more thoughtful of their circumstances. In the process of being straightforward, however, I have had to learn to communicate my needs in a way that allowed people to choose HOW they could help me, and even opt out and not help at all. I’m also now very aware of the importance of boundaries, mine and others’. Before I act, I ask myself “How do I feel about this?”, “How should I go about this?” or even “Why does this not feel right?”

During my people-pleasing days, I would not think twice about sacrificing my own needs for those of others. I thought I was being a good person, a wonderful and flawless human being, for offering all of myself and all that I have. When I became aware of my doormat tendencies, the pendulum swung to the other end and I became utterly selfish, refusing to budge even a tiny bit because I didn’t want to be vulnerable to others’ ability to “take over” and run my show. In both cases, I was out of the picture. I let other people determine how I lived, helped, not helped, thought, felt, and acted.

Awareness is always the first step to dealing with a situation. I became so miserable because of the state of affairs that I had to find a way towards the center. In everything there has to be balance, harmony and a respect for the ebbs and flows of emotion and thought. As my yoga practice deepened, what became clearer to me was this: How people regard me is beyond my control. I had to pause and look at a situation from the outside in order to make a decision that felt right to me. Sometimes, in the process of being truthful, someone gets hurt. That is an unfortunate event that I try to avoid but often just need to accept. Sometimes, or oftentimes, the person in pain is me. (I try to avoid inflicting pain on me, too, because I’m done flogging myself.)

I find that when I respect my inner voice and let it speak for me, it allows people to do the same.

Speak Your Mind

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