When I was younger I was accused of being selfish; I always maintained that I was taking care of my own needs first and foremost because if I didn’t then who would. I realize this was not necessarily the right attitude because I felt alone and separate and lacking in some way because I didn’t believe anyone else would ever meet my needs. I’ve never bought into self-sacrifice being beneficial to anyone and I never believed in being a victim <I was always very proactive with my life so I have avoided the co-dependency or over-commitment trap for the most part>. I have to admit though that for many years I had a strong sense of entitlement and that’s why I have been learning lessons in humility as of late. Now from a wiser and more mature perspective I realize boundaries are fluid and require flexibility as we grow and learn, and holding on to what we thought in the past doesn’t serve us. I try to approach life now as a win-win for all concerned and then let expectations of outcomes go – not always an easy thing to do.
Authenticity is important to me, but sometimes I can be overpowering and manipulative if I am not careful, especially when dealing with my kids. I am committed to knowing and articulating my own needs as much as possible without stepping on others’ toes … and forgiving myself when I fail to do so. This translates to when I feel the slightest twinge of resentment or obligation … I re-examine what I am promising so I am clear whether I want to continue or not. Sometimes this means I choose to let unhealthy relationships go because ultimately you alone are responsible for your own happiness.