There is an ebb and flow rhythm in nature where things naturally come and go, and so it is with our own lives. We go through periods of growth or rebirth, and we also go through periods of shedding what no longer serves us, to pare down to what is most vital to us and our well-being. People and things seem to stream in and out of our lives, serving a solid purpose while they are with us. Growth can be an important part of our evolution, but so is recognizing what is no longer working for us, and having the strength and presence to stand firm and identify areas of our lives on which we will not compromise (like drawing a line in the sand).
It is very liberating and cathartic to shed what no longer serves you, even more so when you realize that you are making space for something better to come into your life. It’s a process of setting boundaries. You determine on what you will spend your time and energy, and what you will let go because it is no longer uplifting or serving a purpose in your life.
This is a natural process; there are four seasons in a year because Earth itself inherently moves through this process. And thus naturally we are permitted to do the same, although many times we feel guilty for what we are removing by way of setting boundaries. Perhaps it is volunteer work you feel is so helpful to others, but it no longer feels purposeful to you. Or perhaps you’re on a committee or board for an industry group that is proving to demand just too much of your time, and your children are now more involved in activities so you want to spend more time with them. There are so many great causes that we feel a pull to step away from, in order to best serve our families or our own well-being.
That “pull” is our intuition, or our inner pilot light which guides us on which way to go for our personal and spiritual growth. Ignoring it only makes the pull stronger, until we inevitably feel an urge to run from the situation. It’s much more graceful to listen and take action earlier in the process.
The beauty of nature is that there will likely come a time once again when we are drawn back into such worthy demands of our time, that time is just not right now. It is not a time to feel ashamed or badly about moving other priorities inside the boundaries you have set. Instead, it’s a time to be fully present where you want to place your focus: if it’s with your children, fully embrace the time with them; if it’s with a project or something that has been calling to you, immerse yourself in it — without apology, and without feeling that you have to make excuses. YOU are worth it, and you cannot be fully present to anyone else in your life unless you are fully present to yourself. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day after the kids have gone to sleep, or before they wake. Make the time and you will feel a shift in your life and level of contentment.
Setting boundaries is no longer an indication of waging war on anyone, but an indication of what we truly love and value, and upon what we will not compromise. I cannot think of any better cause, can you?