Whatever the reason, the freedom of not needing to please people, setting, and keeping boundaries has become the biggest gift a girl can give herself and the people with whom she chooses to surround herself.

This has become more and more evident in recent weeks.  I know that I harp on this idea but that’s because it’s crucial to a physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually healthy life and relationships.

A few encounters really nailed this of late being back in the dating game.  To be clear, I HATE dating.  It would be nice to have someone in my life that loves me unconditionally.  I have been told over and over I am a ‘lot” to handle.

Do you ever feel out of place or like nobody gets you?  I almost always feel this way, but the difference now is it’s totally O.K, and now have stopped trying to fit myself in someone else’s box.  We don’t have to tone ourselves down anymore, apologize for fulfilling a  public mission, or frankly being an independent and

Self-sufficient woman. 

This notion has brought a level of freedom I could never have imagined.  As a true people pleaser, recovering addict with a history of codependency issues, it was always about being the martyr, trying to ‘save others’ or swooping in to save the day.  Well, I am happy to say NOT ANYMORE.

Does this sound harsh? It’s not, it’s self-respect.  It’s not being mean, just direct.  To be specific, I recently had received an online message from a guy who seemed interesting and messaged him back.  I don’t get too worked up about these things, as it’s a life journey to creating my great romance.

He had not actually called me yet, and I don’t give this kind of thing too much thought if a guy can’t pick up the phone and CALL.  By text, he invited me to a swanky party. I was traveling so I graciously declined.

The next morning, I got a message inviting me to another event. In the past, I would have put aside my needs, missed a workout, and other things I needed to get done just to make the date, even with no lead time.   I know that formalities have diminished these days, but communication is still a sign of respect.  When dating, I won’t just drop and roll for someone out of fear.

I graciously declined the second invitation as it was my first day back in New York City and I had things that needed attention.  I was interested in connecting as he seemed to have a cool background but not at the cost of my health and sanity.  I also wasn’t going to start dodging around Manhattan to meet someone with whom I had not even spoken to yet.

Sound familiar.  Let me be clear ladies, this isn’t about him, this is about me respecting my time and my needs and trusting if it’s supposed to happen it would be at a time that was good for each of us.  I was not making any judgments, nor was I giving in to fear of loss.

We are constantly being tested.  It’s as if the universe says, ‘Will you respect your life today?”  If the answer is yes, then the right thing will happen. If the answer and action are no, we will likely find ourselves resentful, tired, and/or hurt.  It’s really our choice.

My past reaction would have been to just jump in and say yes because I was so afraid the right person would never manifest.  With that fear eradicated and a sense of internal peace and appreciation for this moment of life, I can relax and look at opportunities as just that, opportunities. I can also say to myself:” Self, is this a good time for me to get together? Am I physically up to it right now?  Am I neglecting other parts of my life needing attention?”

As a woman, I think standing up for ourselves is a learned trait. Here’s THAT word again. Boundaries.

Want to know what happened?

After some back and forth over a text and me joyfully continuing about my day, I finally said let’s plan a time to connect later in the week.  He then asked me some more questions about myself, so I directed him to my website.  I have learned to do this in advance because it lets me know if someone can handle my professional life and medical history.  If I am ‘too much” we won’t waste each other’s time.

He did call me to chat.  The information had impressed him, and he wanted to know more.  We had a pleasant and short exchange, and I did not apologize for not being able to join him earlier in the day.  I simply stated that I already had plans to which he responded we could connect later in the week.

Who knows what will happen.  Fortunately, I will not get wound about it.  I do know this:  the tone and boundary were set right out of the gate, there will be no backing down. It was an amazing feeling holding onto my self-respect.  It’s still new, however, the dynamic was created and that made me feel better.  

This is not new information but worth repeating. Boundaries are self-respect. Self-respect is not selfish. Confidence is not selfish. Self-care is not selfish.  

These ideas take some implementation and may seem uncomfortable at first but that’s because it’s a new way of living.  Try it on for size.   The sense of freedom may astound you.