November marks the end of the Gluten Free Health Challenge. Rose is sharing one final reflection post today, after being a part of the challenge for six months. Please stop and leave a comment for her, or join us in our Gluten Free Facebook Group. -Iris-
Wow! Where do I begin? Let me just say this: The last six months, especially the last couple, have been a HUGE challenge for me. And not for the reasons that I would have initially thought I would be sharing with all of you. The Gluten Free Challenge turned into something far different than I anticipated.
Iris and Shirley (my coach) opened my eyes to much more than dealing with food issues and challenges. They actually suggested that I learn to love and accept myself...AS IS! Not an easy task for me at all.
Iris, you opened up a whole new world to me.
Shirley, although our talks were few, your quiet, non-judgmental demeanor - interspersed with Louise Haye - was a welcome respite.
For the past few months, I have been learning to set boundaries. I honestly never realized how much of a pleaser I really am. It is often said that we teach others how to treat us, and these are words I'm learning to live by. I realized that I have been saying yes to just about everything since I was very young. When I finally said no, I had often come to such a state of frustration that I responded in hurt and anger.
I want to make one thing very clear, and it's this: For those of us who are so very sensitive to the needs of others, the reason that we have to set boundaries is not to hurt others or be unavailable, but rather to protect ourselves. I am learning that being in a relationship doesn't mean losing my sense of individuality. I have also come to realize that I was never taught to effectively set necessary boundaries.
My boundaries were weak, unguarded, and unclear. Sad, I know. With no boundaries, people dumped on me in almost every area of my life. I was letting in all kinds of "stuff" that wasn't MY STUFF. I was unconsciously giving away my own personal energy. So unhealthy.
When it became apparent that I had much work to be done, I got down to business. My boundaries needed to be shored up and I needed to return to my center. I needed grounding. I liken grounding to a tree setting her roots into healthy, rich soil that she can draw upon in times of need. I began setting aside time for myself every couple of days, meditating or just being still, and frequently getting lost in my art, which I had lost touch with.
I am slowly working on these issues. This isn't an overnight thing. It's taken me years to get where I am and I'm allowing myself time to get where I need to be. I am learning to surround myself with people who love me for who I am, and I am eliminating people who I've discovered are toxic. By toxic, I mean people who manipulate, abuse or try to control me. I am seeing results and I no longer feel responsible for everyone else's happiness. Only mine. I'm not being selfish. I'm just learning to love me.
Learning to set healthy boundaries takes time. It's a process. I am setting them slowly and within my own time frame...not when someone else tells me. Iris and Shirley, I thank both of you from the bottom of my heart.
Love and peace to all of you. And remember to take care of yourself. ♥