If you ever feel like you’re treated as though your needs don’t matter in relationship…you are in the right place, Dear One.
If you sometimes experience a suspicion that while you’re taking care of everyone else, no one is thinking about your needs…tune in and turn on, Neighbour.
If you sometimes run monologues in your head like, “Today, I’ve washed the walls, bought the groceries, started a small business, and planted an organic, biodynamic garden to feed my family. So why the hell is my sleep-deprived-ass in the kitchen making dinner, too?”…I hear you, Mister / Sister.
If you ever feel hesitant, guilty, or like you simply can’t say ‘no’ to other people’s demands on your time, presence, and energy…there’s something we need to discuss.
You may be suffering from a condition I call Boundary Bankruptcy – and it is the #1 thing stopping you from creating the BIG Love you want in your life.
Boundary bankruptcy is the feeling of resentment, fatigue, or victimhood resulting from prioritizing other people’s needs ahead of your own, most or all of the time.
As I suggested in Part I (Goodbye Relationship Martyr, Hello BIG Love), SO many people have bought into this idea that the BIG Love can only be achieved by giving away the farm – your needs, your dreams, your well-being – through self-sacrifice.
But the obligations, exhaustion, resignation, and the simmering “it’s not fair!” generated by your habit of saying ‘yes’ to others at your own expense…these can never add up to the BIG Love.
Oh, you might start out feeling the BIG Love – but persistently sacrificing your personal boundaries creates a steady decline until all your ‘love accounts’ are, well…bankrupt.
You can’t create the BIG Love when you’re operating from this kind of emotional and spiritual relationship deficit.
Because unlike financial bankruptcy – which comes with the awful feeling that you owe someone else – when it’s your personal boundaries that are chronically overdrawn, you feel an unavoidable sense that you are owed something.
Some recognition. Some payback. Some time, some energy, some, “Hey, you, it’s your turn to be taken care of for a while” (and not just on your birthday, Mother’s Day, etc.).
If this sounds familiar, I am here to tell you:
The Bank of You Matter Is Calling.
They said you urgently need to start making deposits in your checking (your needs) account. You’re overdrawn.
Seriously: what do you need? Do you need time to paint? Write? Practice yoga? Connect with your bestie?
Perhaps you’ve been throwing your dreams on the back burner to help others achieve theirs.
Or possibly you’ve been so (externally) focused on taking care of others that you’ve actually lost touch with what your needs, your goals, and your dreams are.
This kind of clarity is essential.
Clarity requires daily injections of inner reflection.
So often, I hear folks who mistake a boundary for just saying NO. But boundaries don’t start with saying no.
You can say ‘no’ to everyone in Creation and still not say, ‘yes’…to yourself.
Saying ‘no’ is important at times – but it’s not the same as knowing you matter.
And that’s what we’re really talking about here: because if you’re always putting your needs aside, you are communicating to others that you fundamentally don’t matter.
Remember: we teach other people how to treat us…based on how they see us treat ourselves.
Here’s the good news: by placing your genuine needs higher on your priority list, you make a powerful statement that says, “I Matter”.
This absolutely, unequivocally requires that first, you say “yes”…to yourself.
And this is the basis of ALL healthy boundaries in relationship: identify what you really need and do that first.
This will always be an investment in the BIG Love – because in addition to filling you up, saying ‘yes’ to yourself first simultaneously reduces the burden of resentment, obligation, and fatigue you experience in relationships.
Do this often enough and you eliminate boundary bankruptcy – and instead, you build up your love accounts. And there’s no limit to how high that balance can go!
If this sounds good to you, here’s a little BIG Love to get you started.
I’m offering you a chance to get me one-on-one for a complimentary, 45-minute Relationship Reboot Strategy Session. Saddle up your biggest relationship struggle – and let’s get you back on track…to the BIG Love. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org right now and we’ll schedule your session. I can’t wait to help you get started!