From invitations to people, I used to have a bad habit of answering everything that called my name. I felt that if they were signaling me out personally, then it must be something I was supposed to say “yes” to. I’m sure we can chuck some of that up to youth, but here I am still youthful, and I have finally learned that everything that calls my name, is not meant for me.
This month brought its own set of challenges for which I am most proud of my growth in addressing the challenge. Being able to step back and process how certain situations make me feel and not make irrational decisions helped me out. Also, actively learning about boundaries has helped tremendously.
When it comes to boundaries, you hear that you should set them to protect yourself. However, we need to speak about how others may not adhere to our boundaries. When that happens, know that you are not at fault, nor did you incorrectly implement the boundary. It’s just that in addition to setting boundaries, you have to enforce them as well. It’s a very active process. People who aren’t doing the work on themselves, like you are, will cross the line and not respect the boundaries you set; continue to hold your ground and respect them yourself.
I felt that my boundaries were being pushed this month, and rather than throw a fit or give a normal response, I chose to ignore what was calling my name. For the first time, I picked complete silence as the response. It’s never too late to make a different decision for your life.
Now because it was a new response, it was very uncomfortable. There were times I wanted to engage and bash the person for crossing the boundary I set. Instead of doing that, I actively chose my new road and ached through whatever new emotions this decision would bring.
In the past, I would feel responsible for things and people that had nothing to do with me. I would tell myself, “I just have to make sure they’re okay. Maybe I can help. What if I am the only person they can talk to? I should be there. I should extend grace.” I didn’t understand that forgiveness doesn’t equate to relationship, communication, or even access to me. Self-appointed responsibilities kept me in situations that hurt me time and time again. It felt like this was my test, and I would fail it every time it came around. So much so that it even led me to a suicide attempt. Imagine that. I thought that if I was no longer on this earth, I would stop betraying myself. I’d stop answering the detrimental invitations that called my name. It was so unbearable that ending it all was the only way out that I could see out.
Over the years, I learned that I am not a savior. I learned that there are people who can hurt you so deeply that the only proper response when they try to come back around, is no response at all. You are not required to allow everyone access to you. It is a privilege. A gift. Should you take that privilege away, it is your natural-born right to do so.
You don’t have to be cordial to anyone that owes you an apology; you know the people who can’t acknowledge their wrong because they don’t see anything wrong in their actions against you. Instead, they come to you initiating a conversation without issuing an appropriate apology first. Then you have the ones who tell you sorry one time but have hurt you 100 times after that and feel like the one apology should carry on to every other mistake ever made. Beware of those people.
You also don’t have to accept an apology either if you aren’t ready to. That doesn’t make you a mean person. It makes you human. NO, is an okay response, whether declared out loud or silently. You are the deciding factor on where a person belongs in your life. Protect your well-being because no one else will.
I say it as the decider and one who has been on the receiving end of a NO. A few years ago, I had a friend that decided that having me in their life wasn’t what they wanted anymore. At the time, it was painful, but I respected the decision and understood. I would hate to be the person holding someone back from a happy life. She had every right to end a relationship that she felt no longer served her.
I wholeheartedly understand amicable splits. Amicable splits leave room for reconciliation later down the road (possibly). Now when you don’t split amicably and decide to destroy someone instead of respectfully walking away. You show them that you don’t respect them or care for them as a person. Now when time passes, and you want to reconcile friendship or any type of access to them, you’re left wondering why you aren’t able to do so. It was your lack of common decency in how you ended things.
Waiting for years to pass is not an appropriate course of action; The person will never forget the wrong. If you are scared to have an open dialogue about it, it shows you have not grown up, and therefore, you do not deserve access to said person.
We can avoid a lot of the hurt that we put others through by:
- Being honest with yourself
- Being honest with the other person
Both completed through communication. You cannot expect to have a healthy relationship with anyone if you can’t sit in the most uncomfortable spaces and have the hard conversations.
Stop blaming your actions on immaturity. Even a child knows right from wrong. That’s what it all boils down to-you chose wrong. Maturity would be showing an understanding of why you chose to do wrong without using “I was young,” as an excuse. If you can’t explain it beyond that, then you don’t understand your choices, and you run the risk of repeating your indiscretions again.
In which case, I would suggest talking to someone to help get to the root of it. So the next time you think about trying to change someone’s narrative in how they perceive a life-altering event, DON’T. And next time you want to give an excuse to justify your wrongdoing, remember that excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness… and well you know the rest.
What does forgiveness look like for you? Do you think that forgiveness automatically warrants access back to you?
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