Being Mindful in Relationships: Setting Healthy Boundaries

Lately I have been thinking a lot about healthy relationships.

This isn’t limited to people who you would date- I’m talking about healthy relationships in every area of life.  It includes family, friends, mentors, coworkers, and even people in passing.  We spend so much time thinking about our physical health, yet mental health can easily be triggered and negatively impacted when we’re spending time around people who aren’t treating us in a way that is in our best interest.

Of course, we can’t completely avoid certain people or behaviors- but how can we set boundaries and interact with those people in a new, healthy way?

It’s up to us to make the change.

Over the years I’ve had a lot of “friends” who took their own issues out on me.  I’ve learned to step away, stopped taking their suggestions, and realized their behavior wasn’t about me at all.

The people I choose to let into my life lift me up, empower me, and accept me for where I am at.  They inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing, and would never try and make me doubt myself.

It can be hard to be alone at times, but remember- it’s better to be alone than to be invested in an unhealthy relationship.

Remember all the light you bring, and spend time with those who appreciate you.  They’ll help you shine even brighter.

Who Are You Calling Fragile?

Over the past few years I’ve learned the benefits of vulnerability and the value of opening yourself up to other people. As a self proclaimed “counterdependent,” I often have a hard time sharing myself with others one-on-one, or showing who I am due to fear of making a connection:

But connection is powerful.

Taking back the narrative of your life and owning your truth is a gift that takes time, but reaps immeasurable results.

I opened myself up to many different people this past year- some in recovery, and some not. Thanks to my friends in sobriety, I learned to safely share my story with people who understand.

However, sometimes you open up to people who don’t- or won’t. That’s okay too.

I was recently in a situation where I was called “fragile” by someone I hardly knew- simply because I am sober in recovery and showed my vulnerable side. What?!

I’m not sure who he thought he was talking to, but I do know today to keep my standards high and my expectations low.

After years of settling for less or compromising my own morals, I’m no longer willing to let someone else dictate my value or worth.

Struggle brings strength, and although I haven’t always made the best choices in my life, I survived my difficulties and have been able to thrive because of them.

The butterfly represents transformation and new beginnings- if she hadn’t struggled to emerge from the cocoon, she wouldn’t have the strength to spread her wings and fly.

She may be delicate, but she certainly isn’t fragile- and neither are you.

A Few Good Friends

I’ve always been the type of person who kept her circle small.

Growing up, I had one best friend- we were both artists who shied away from the more rambunctious children.  We didn’t participate in the gossip, nor did we play rough.  We spent time drawing, chatting on the swing set, and using our imagination to create a magical world around us.

As I got older, my habits stayed the same.  I wasn’t invited to parties and I didn’t sit with the popular group at lunch- nor did I try to.

I’ve always done my own thing- but I have been fortunate to always have a few good friends.

Friends who always “get” me.  Friends who have my best interest at heart.  Friends who encourage me to be my best self- and who see the beauty within that I may not recognize on my own.

As an adult, I realize that I won’t be liked by everyone.  I wouldn’t want to be!  Not everyone is on the same path- and that is okay.  We are all on our own journey.

Today, I don’t have to take other people’s criticism personal, and I don’t have to engage or acknowledge their drama- because I know that the people who do matter to me are all I need.