90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 53 – Healthy Boundaries

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 53: Healthy Boundaries

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

-Confucius

As we grow in our self-worth, our healthy boundaries start naturally establishing themselves. We no longer try to force and demand other people to respect us. We no longer feel bad when we are not getting treated the way we feel like we deserve. We learn, the more we treat ourselves with respect, the people around us will feel the light of our self-respect, not the darkness from the fear of not being respected. We have to have the respect for ourselves to show people how to treat us.

If we want other people to see our time and love is valuable to them, the time and love we invest in ourselves shows them that. I didn’t have self-worth, self-respect, or self-love when I was growing up, and my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions to what other people did reflected that. To the point where I did try to kill myself because I felt like I had absolutely no value. I couldn’t establish healthy boundaries with others because I put my value in their feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions. We can’t establish healthy boundaries from our fears. When we attempt to, we are actually attracting more of the people that will not respect those boundaries because our focus is on what we don’t want.

The real focus of fear-based boundaries is the fear of not being respected, not being loved, and not being appreciated. That leads us to feeling disappointed over and over again. Our perspective of truth is trapped in our own darkness. A person could be showing us their version of love, respect, and appreciation but if our focus is on our fear-based perspectives of truth (Days 43-46), we won’t see it because if their version looks different than ours, our fear-based perspectives of their words, beliefs, actions, and reactions tells us they are in the wrong.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

-Lao Tzu

When we are shining our light from our self-love, self-respect, and self-worth, we project that out to the people around us. They will either shine their light back, walk away from our light, or attempt to dim our light to test how strong our light is. Our healthy boundaries are an energetic force field around us.

I think of it as the little prayer I learned, bless it or block it. If I have something to learn from a person, he/she will come into my life. If there is nothing to learn from their experience it won’t be presented to me. Now, this includes videos, news stories, music, books, seminars, media coverage, social media posts, celebrities, etc. I have the opportunity to learn from whatever my journey has brought me to see.

  • Have you ever heard the perfect song for what you are going through on the radio?
  • Have you ever heard that song that brought all your tears about a situation to the surface?
  • Have you ever been suggested to read a book or watch a video multiple times by people who weren’t connected to each other?
  • Have you ever turned on the TV and catch a show that you find a message in? Have you ever had a book fall off a shelf in front of you?

I can go on with the lists of questions, but I think you get the point.

If we need to work on our light force field, we will be presented with lessons that can help us build and strengthen it, but we won’t learn those lessons if we are stuck in the topics we talked about in Part I (Days 2-30) of the 90-Day A Better Me Series. That is why it is so important to start this journey by becoming aware of what is blocking us from creating these light force fields around ourselves. We have to establish trust on this journey of learning. We have to be able to spot our own darkness (fear) and shine the light (love) on it.

I’m respected by the people I choose to have in my life, because I respect myself. I don’t expect others to give me what I’m not giving myself. When I have an expectation of others, I can look at it and see how I’m not showing myself  my own respect, love, and/or worth in the situation. I can’t correct the problem, until I change my perspective on how I’m looking at it. If I’m blaming them, my darkness is leading me. That dark force field will project an energy out that I REALLY don’t want to be coming back to me. I sometimes will have to bust my ass doing the work to get out of that space. The difference for me is now I don’t resist those lessons. I don’t tell myself that whatever happened shouldn’t have happened. It did happen, that’s reality. There is a blessing in whatever comes my way. When I see the blessing, I contribute to my light energy force field (Healthy boundaries).

The best part is that our healthy light force field isn’t just about protecting us from the feelings and actions of others. It helps protect us from making unhealthy choices against ourselves in our feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions. With food, it may mean we won’t pick up an item to fill an emotional void. With health, we may get little energy nudges to do, eat, take, or drink specific things to assist with healing something within us. It can steer us away from things that aren’t healthy for us—people, places, and/or things included. The more light we learn to shine, the clearer we see our healthy boundaries. We start thanking our Creator for being late because it helped us to miss an accident. We start feeling gratitude for Divine timing. We start seeing the blessings in our lives on a whole new level.

Just for Today

Answer these questions:

  • Are you trying to establish personal boundaries from love or fear?
  • How are people responding to these energetic force fields you are creating?
  • How can you improve your self-worth, self-respect, and self-love to create a stronger light energy force field?
  • If you already have a light energy force field that you feel, what blessing is it bringing to your life?

This REALLY is a MIRACLE-filled journey once we open the doors and commit to learning how to shine our own lights brighter. We truly learn the meaning of living an AWE-filled life. What we see becomes so much more beautiful. Enjoy the journey!

Thank you for reading!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 53 – My Healthy Boundaries

 

 

 

 

 

I Am FOR Love, Respect, and Dignity of Life

I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.

-Mother Teresa

A challenge in my life is making sure I’m focused on what I’m for, not against. The energy we project when we are against something is very strong, and even more negative. This works against us internally and externally in a myriad of ways. First, negative energy is a magnet for more negative energy and actually repels positive energy. This will present itself in different ways in our personal lives. We may feel tired and worn out, find ourselves with health problem after health problem, and/or we attract negative people and situations into our lives.

We can think we are fighting for a cause, but the very energy we are putting out is against something else. When the causes are passionate cries for the betterment and safety of humanity, animals, and nature we sometimes get caught up in the energy of the people who are against the very thing we are for, we become apart of the problem, not the solution. I find I have to check in with myself often to make sure I have my energy going to what I am truly for in life. I have to ask myself a series of questions and watch how my voice, body, mind, and spirit are reacting to my behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Here are just some of the examples I tend to ask myself:

  • Am I focused on what other people think of me? (Negative energy)
  • Do I feel like I’m being blamed and having to prove myself? (Negative energy)
  • Am I focused on what I don’t like that someone else is doing? (Negative energy)
  • Do I feel exhausted when I’m volunteering my voice for a cause? (Negative Energy)
  • Am I trying to make someone else wrong in order to be right? (Negative energy)
  • Am I contributing to negativity through gossip? (Negative Energy)
  • Am I clear on my boundaries for my own self-care? (Positive Energy)
  • Do I communicate clearly on what is and is not acceptable behavior toward me? (Positive Energy)
  • Are my thoughts, actions, and feelings energized by the causes I’m representing? (Positive energy)
  • Am I treating myself with love and respect before I expect someone else to do it? (Positive Energy)
  • How do I want to see humanity treat each other? (Positive Energy)
  • Am I being the example of compassion and kindness that I want other people to follow? (Positive Energy)
  • Am I speaking from a source of love or fear?
  • Are my thoughts coming from a place of love or fear?
  • Are my feelings projecting love for humanity or fear of humanity?

Now, this list can go on and on, but the point is I know I’m in a healthy place when I start paying close attention to what I’m doing and questioning my own thoughts. This can be a struggle for me especially when it comes things like:

  • Respecting my own personal boundaries
  • Representing women being true to their voices
  • Putting attention on childhood development in schools
  • Helping become more self-aware and promoting self-care
  • Humans treating other humans with respect and dignity
  • Respecting animals
  • Respecting and connecting to nature

Here is the negative energy focus on all the items listed above:

  • People walking all over me and lying about me.
  • Feeling hatred towards men who mistreat women
  • School testing is destroying our children
  • Being against Big Pharma
  • Hating people who aren’t accepting of others
  • Being against animal cruelty
  • We are destroying our planet

When I get worked up on any of the subjects listed above and some others, it is very easy for me to start focusing on the things I’m against. With a lot of self-realization though, I see the damage I do when I keep my focus on that mindset. I can see the good myself and others are trying to do fall on deaf ears. When we stay focused on the negative energy of what we are against. I see how it affects our minds, hearts, and actions toward others. Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Buddha, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, and so many others lived and/or live their lives according to what they want to represent in humanity. We know all their names. Their messages still ring through in our hearts today. These are my leaders. They remind me about being the person I want to be and not succumbing to fear based agenda. This is true for my personal life and matters that affect my community, country, and world.

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I am for love, respect, and dignity of life. I pray that this leads my thoughts, feelings, and actions more than any of my fears. I know this all starts with how I treat myself. I can’t give what I don’t have. I will honor, love, and take care of myself, so that I may contribute the best of me to my family, friends, community, country, and world.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2017

Breaking Free From My Unhealthy Relationships: Finding Love through the Darkness

I am no master. I have survived some horrible situations and lost much of my innocence way too young. I still fight, cry, and struggle through some of life’s twists and turns. Here is what I know, life is full of lessons and I have survived them all. Some of my deepest scars have helped others through their darkest days. At seventeen, I was lucky to survive an attempt at ending my journey. I didn’t think my life was worth living. I felt like all I brought people was pain. I thought I would be doing my family a favor by not being here. At the core of it all, I felt unlovable and not worth loving at all. My failed attempt changed the trajectory of many lives, not only my family and friends at the time, but the two amazing lives I’ve brought into the world.

The lessons showed me that I needed to keep learning and expanding. I have to keep going deeper into my inner core to see what I really need to be learning from all these experiences in my life. Some lessons I can figure out with a little distance, but others may take years or a lifetime to figure out. All I know is that if I learn the lesson, I can stop repeating it. The lesson won’t get harder, but I will be able to spot the problem before it starts.

One of my most challenging lessons has been with my romantic relationships. I had the patterns of behavior that kept attracting the wrong men. The lessons would get worse and worse as the years went by until it escalated to verbal and emotional abuse. I became a person I didn’t even recognize at the height of the toxicity. I didn’t like the untrusting, unloving, and emotionally unavailable person I had become. Since my mom taught me very young that no one can make me feel anything, and that my perception chooses my feelings and reactions, I knew only I could fix the darkness that stirred inside me.

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Since that is where my mind focused those were the lessons that would present themselves to me. If I focused my mind in a dark place, like I had chosen to do many times, I would dig myself deeper into the problem. I used to focus on the guy I was in the relationship with instead of me. I learned I can’t fix the problem there, because I can’t change him. I can only change me. I found all the books and teachers I needed to help me change my perception and patterns. This didn’t happen overnight, and I’m still a work in progress, but through reflection and watching some of the people I love follow similar paths to what I was on, I see how far I have come.

Now, I’m in a relationship where I love, trust, and respect myself. Since I feel that way about me, I can love, trust and respect him equally. I acknowledge and see where I’m putting past relationship stresses on him and I work through them. No need for dramatic fights and false exits. Does this mean we don’t argue, of course not. We are not going to agree about everything. We do fight fair and know when each other need just enough space to process the information so we can discuss it reasonably.

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Giving and accepting space is new for me. I remember not trusting the space at all in past relationships and thinking that those big dramatic fights were essential. With some, I felt like the end of the world was happening if we couldn’t talk reasonably in the very second a problem occurred. I would panic and get super clingy. With others, I remember walking away and having a man follow me around yelling and calling me names to try to make me feel as small as he was feeling about himself. The knot in my stomach and all my fight or flight senses would be going off. For a period of time before kids, I would try to use alcohol or depression medication to cover up my feelings, but that was not what got me out.

Facing my feelings fully and changing MY behavior towards, number one, myself was the catalyst for breaking free from the pain that these unhealthy relationships brought to the surface. If I abuse and belittle myself, I bring people who will reflect it back to me. The worse I abuse myself, the worse the abuse will be. Abusers can spot our weaknesses from a mile away. There are little signs from the moment we meet them that create a dinging in their ears knowing we are a match. We look for our equals. If we want better, we have to be better. I had to learn to be the person towards myself that I wanted to attract. For instance, I love nature and adventure, but I wasn’t doing that for myself. I was waiting for someone else to take me. Well, screw that! I started taking myself on adventures in nature and what did I attract, someone who enjoyed the same things. We go on some adventures together, but I keep adding more of my own adventures. I expand my adventures every year. This past summer I took my kids on  camping with another single mom for 5 days in Asheville, NC. It was amazing. The adventure didn’t start or stop there, we saw friends, family, and added wonderful experiences to our memory books.

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Before, I kept going above and beyond for men who I hoped would one day give back the same amount of effort. I thought that the more I helped them, maybe they would feel like they needed me and fight for me to stay. I was the rescuer! A superpower I thought I had, but really that was my codependency. I just felt depleted and frustrated and the relationships didn’t work. I finally understood the message from the Bible about treating others as I treat myself. I used to think this just meant treat others, as I wanted to be treated. I kept getting walked on. I now see it as, if I treat others with the same respect and love that I show myself, I will attract people who will reflect that back to me. I will attract people who really want to get out of their misery (if that is where they are). I won’t attract the men who want to be stuck in the victim of the world role and want to take me down with them. I realized the the Bible wasn’t telling me to give myself away, it was telling me to show the world my inner beauty and strength. I have read many books that have the same message, and it took me reading all of them and experiencing everything I did to finally make it sink in. There is no one book, person, place, or being that is capable of showing us everything we need to see. We are human, we have to experience many lessons to get the messages to sink in. At least, I do.

As I grow in love and respect for myself, my relationships gets better. My life gets better. I no longer feel like I need another person to complete me. I am complete. I get to enjoy the man I’m with for being the person he is and what he contributes to the life I want to live. I keep growing and getting stronger. This is the example I want to show my kids. I want my son to see that it is good to be with a woman who loves, trusts, and respects herself. I want my daughter to become a woman who loves, trusts, and respects herself. My job is to be the example.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

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11 Ways to Better ANY Relationship

IMG_93231.  Get Rid of “Right and Wrong” Mentality

Right and wrong mentality is about power. Healthy relationships are about each person seeing the other’s perspectives, being able to agree or disagree, and doing it all without engaging in a power battle. Each person in a relationship has different belief systems. If we keep finding a solution as the goal, and get rid of figuring out who’s right and wrong, we keep our minds open to creativity. We have reasons for making the choices we do. In order to communicate with compassion and make choices from a loving place, we have to stay open to other perspectives. When we do this, we engage in wonderful relationships with all kinds of new and interesting people. Choosing to see our beliefs as just one of many perspectives, improves our life and all our relationships.

2.  Find the Good

We prepare our defenses when someone’s actions trigger a vulnerable spot in us. We tune them out as we formulate our counter-attack. Stop at that moment and consider:

  • Why are you in a relationship with this person in the first place?
  • What do you like about him/her?
  • What are some of their better qualities?

When we focus on the love, respect, or interest we have in the person, communication get easier and solutions are apparent without any emotional or physical harm to each other.

3.  Ask Questions

Too often arguments start because we make assumptions without asking enough questions. We assume we know where the other person is coming from. For the health of our relationship, we need to ask:

  • “How did that (situations, look, tone) make you feel?”
  • “Am I understanding this/you correctly?”
  • “What did you mean when you said_______?”
  • “How do you think we can make this better?”
  • “Did I say something that is causing some confusion?”

Continue to ask questions until you reach an understanding. It shows the other person that you are willing to hear them. When we value a relationship, we need to invest in peaceful resolutions. We all have our own stories. Our responsibility is to make sure we are looking at the person in front of us, and not the ones from our past.

 4.  Listen Carefully

The truth is in the details. People who are not hurting do not hurt others. If someone is calling you or someone else a name, imagine they are calling themselves that name. When people are giving others fear, hate, and/or anger, those feelings are circulating inside them. People who feel worthy don’t attack others. Try to see them with compassion and not your ego. The ego makes the situation about you. When we truly listen, we get to the heart of the problem. From there, solutions are uncovered.

5.  Give Space to Respond

Healthy relationships are about responding, not reacting when we are having trouble communicating. Sometimes we say the first thing on our mind and risk of hurting an important relationship. If we take three deep breaths, we may gain a little perspective on the situation. Other times we need to walk away before we respond in order to process the information. Either way, take the space you need to choose the best response. Keep the goals of your relationship in mind. If you are looking for a loving, compassionate, productive, and/or effective relationship, make sure your response is contributes to that.

6.  Take Your Power Back

Why are you reacting with anger, fear, and hurt? Why do you choose to give the person you are with the power to stir up these feelings inside you? Many times we are reacting to past hurts that can be traced all the way back to childhood. Our negative reactions to the current situation are opportunities to heal the past. When we take our power back and investigate where these hurt feelings came from, we can release a lot of pain that is only hurting our current relationships. Empower yourself by knowing your feelings and actions are your choice. You can change them by gaining a little perspective about why what is happening is making you feel the way it does. What other way can you look at the current situation to strengthen your own personal power?

 7.  Investigate Your Belief Systems

 We all come with the baggage of belief systems. Some are useful, but others are destructive. It is our job to investigate them and see they are helping or hurting our relationships. Are the following “truths” for you:

  • Relationships are hard work! Are they? Do they have to be? Are we making them that way?
  • Men should/Women should/Children should/Bosses should/Co-workers should… Do we shove people into categories of what we think they should and shouldn’t do or be? Is this hurting our current relationships?
  • I don’t like being told what to do! Does this create issues when dealing with colleagues, teachers, friends, intimate partners, and/or family?
  • What I say goes! This is a power play. Is this what you are looking for in your relationships?

 8.  Find Peace Within

If we don’t know what it feels like to be peaceful inside, we won’t be able to have it in our relationships. Internal chaos comes from unhealed shame and guilt from the past. By facing the darkest parts of ourselves and forgiving all that needs to be forgiven, we create peace within. Our relationships improve and people who were attracted to our chaos will fall away. When we find peace within we present with the people in our lives. We can talk to them with love and compassion, without our past getting in our way. When we get triggered, our peace within slows us down to respond appropriately.

9.  Love Yourself More 

We demonstrate how we want to be treated by the way we treat ourselves. We allow others to walk on us if we lay down in front of them. When we love ourselves, we don’t do that. We stand as equals. If we want respect, we have to show ourselves respect. If we want love, we have to give it to ourselves. This is not selfish. We can only truly give what we have inside. When we don’t care for ourselves first we take on martyr and victim roles. We will get physically and emotionally ill. How does that better ANY relationship? Learn to say, “I love you, but I love me more.” All your relationships benefit from treating yourself with the love and respect that you deserve.

10.  Stop Taking Things Personally

 What they do and say is their stuff. How we react or respond is ours. When we make it about us, that’s when we are being self-involved. We only hurt people when we are wounded. If someone raises their voice, says hurtful things, or even uses physical violence, it comes from an internal battle inside. Knowing it is not about us, we can respond in the most compassionate way possible. Does this mean we should ever accept any form of verbal, emotional, and or physical abuse? No, but you will if you don’t reconcile your own beliefs, forgive, and love yourself more.

11.  Respect Each Other’s Differences

We are all different and have wonderful contributions to give to the world. But if we think we know a better way to live someone else’s life, we are hurting everyone. We are telling the person that we don’t respect them enough to let them live their life. We miss great opportunities to express love, compassion, and acceptance. The world needs people to be different to survive. We all have strengths and diverse paths. If we want to improve our relationships, we need to focus on what we can do, how we can work together and what will make us stronger. We all learn what we are meant to learn. We will all experience lessons to make us the person we want to become. It’s great to share your experiences, strength, and hope. Just don’t expect others to do anything with them. If it feels right to their journey, they will act on those ideas. If it doesn’t, they won’t. It’s just that simple. When we respect each other we don’t have to take each other’s actions personally. We can love and accept the person for who they are, instead of who we want them to be.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff