I always had leaky boundaries. They were so leaky, in fact, that I didn’t even know what having a boundary meant. Learning to use them effectively and properly, with no background knowledge, is a long and arduous journey.
Several years ago, in Bali, a healer at a retreat told me, after some individual work, that others were always going to lead me away from myself, cause me to doubt myself. She reminded me that I must trust my own heart and intuition above all else.
I haven’t always followed her advice, but it is always deeply sheltered within me. Learning to trust oneself after a lifetime of giving power away to everyone else is constant work. It is a daily commitment to leaning in to what I know to be true, even when I doubt myself over and over again. It means missteps and lessons that I must repeat until I choose a different ending. It isn’t easy.
It is everything. What else do I have if not this work? A lifetime of continued misery, letting the opinions and perspectives of others define who I am? I think not. I’m long past that, even if I do fall back into the patterns here and there. With every new test, I become a bit stronger, a bit more attuned to my truth. Difficult? Yes. Worth it? Also, yes.
Trusting yourself is, indeed, everything. You were born innately trusting yourself. It is only through various life experiences that we learn not to do so. Perhaps you grew up in a household that allowed you to trust yourself, even encouraged it, and if so – I’m very happy for you! I only wish that someday all children will have that good fortune. We begin so purely, and then we encounter this crazy, complicated world, and it screws us up. Then we spend adulthood attempting to unlearn all the bullshit that was dumped on us by various people and situations.
I am, slowly but surely, learning to establish boundaries and trust myself in situations where before I would have crumbled. It hurts, often. There are many I’ve lost from my life because they don’t like this new situation, these new parameters. I don’t always express myself very well in the transition, either. It’s a learning experience, and it’s messy.
I believe that you, too, can learn to trust and protect yourself as you should – as we all should. I have faith in you! Sending you love.