|taking a cold as a starting point|
I wrote this as an introduction to one of my photos for the Gratitude Project:
"I caught a cold yesterday, so I´m doing my best to get well soon, this means:
I´m having echinacea & ginger tea sweetened with honey
I´m staying at home wearing my pyjamas
I´m resting and forgeting that this should be a hectic day...
taking some photos, reading, sleeping, accepting some cuddles
World can wait , I´m taking gentle care of myself today"
Later on, when I re-read it I started to think about the reason why we find so very difficult to take time for ourselves
The reason why we find so easy to force our own boundaries, to go beyond our forces even when we know we will pay it back
The reason why we don´t give a leeway to ourselves, when we give it to other persons so often
Learning to set healthy boundaries has been one of my hardest struggles... to be honest, the need to be loved and accepted, have played (still does) dirty tricks on me
Once I understood that this need had to be regulated, that I had to shunt my motivation from outside to inside, I started to move forward rather quickly
Of course, the way that has led me from this understanding to effective actions regarding this issue, has been long, yet rewarding. Now I´m much more balanced than before. Even so, there are a few things that I have to remember almost every day:
Acceptance and approval are external questions, they are important to me but if I want to stay balanced I have to look also for self-acceptation and self-approval
I´m not responsible for other person´s actions even when I can feel morally bound to help them. I can´t take full responsibility for their behaviors, opinions etc.
I´m not here to rescue persons around me from living their own lives, walking their own paths...
I want to carry out my duty but despite this, I can opt for doing something or not. It´s me who defines my own duty. It´s me who defines the sort of life that I want to live, including obligations
Service and compassion and kindness are important. . Indeed I want to be benevolent to all living beings... including myself. If my practice is exclusive, what am I mending? If I say YES to others, but NO to myself, what am I advancing?
I don´t have to feel guilty for putting my self-care and self-realization above anything else. I can choose my priorities paying attention to those things that make me feel joyful and alive
This is not selfishness, I don´t want to be concerned only by my own profit or pleasure at the expense of consideration for others, I just want to take into account my own well-being, my own wishes and dreams, together with the well-being, wishes and dreams of others
If I neglect my self-care, my own process, I betray the sacredness of being here
All the things above have to do with inner boundaries. Of course, translate this to everyday life is not easy. But according to my experience, if your internal boundaries are well settled, is much easier