3/21/2016: Protect

Today’s message is inspired by a personal story that I haven’t shared before. Last year, the biggest personal challenge I encountered was around boundaries. I carried a lot of guilt about friendships I was growing out of, new friendships I was learning to navigate, and how to evolve my interpersonal skills as I fully accepted this “sensitive” part of myself that I’d tried to downplay for so many years. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the central struggle was between wanting to give myself to every relationship in my life, but also needing to protect my energy and carve out the me-time I needed in order to thrive. Whenever I chose the latter, I felt guilty and selfish.

To work through these feelings, I sought out an awesome therapist here in San Diego, and during one session, she asked if I’d be willing to try a guided meditation exercise. Though it was something I’d never done before, I trusted her enough to give it a shot, even if it felt out of my comfort zone at first. I’ll never forget the experience of the exercise.

I began somewhat skeptical, but over the course of a few minutes she led me through an exercise that allowed me to use my imagination to dispense wisdom to myself. I won’t share the whole thing because there are parts of it I really want to keep for myself, but I was asked to visualize my subconscious as my own confidant, my own friend beside me offering guidance. Finally I was prompted with this question: “Now what do you hear her saying to you?” Without a beat, these words came to me: *You’re too special not to protect.*

It surprised me so much I started to cry. It was just what I needed to hear. It’s not about saying I’m so great and special — it’s about reminding myself of my worth, of acknowledging that I have something unique to bring to the world and, most importantly, it’s about giving myself PERMISSION to set those honest boundaries when I need them.

I wanted to share this mantra today in case any of you out there struggle with this same guilt around setting boundaries. Remember: you’re too special not to protect.