I was feeling all warm and cozy at what had been an unexpected epiphany a couple of days ago when with one phone call I found myself fighting for that freedom. Than I realized something. (You can read it at “depressionsgift.com” for May 3oth. I’m not sure whether it’s considered ok to give yourself a pingback.)
Wow, another epiphany! I’m on a roll.
Freedom to live our lives isn’t easily come by. Especially when you’ve been the “go to” person for everyone in your life, when you’ve been the one they’ve all counted on. To suddenly change course and carve out some time for yourself reeks of selfishness.
But, please, if you find yourself in this situation, think again. If you are doing the best you can for the people in your life, you have not only have a right but an obligation to yourself to place some “soft” boundaries around your own life. Not in a vindictive manner. Not in a “I’ll show them”, but just in a way that lets you breathe and maintain some balance. In a way that lets you pursue your own interests without feeling guilty. (I must admit this is very hard for me.)
I find it hard to carve out my own space. I’m always aware of the Biblical injunction to love others. I forget the times that Christ walked away from the crowds to re-group. And he never apologized. I forget how Christ didn’t apologize to the rich young ruler and how he walked away after the rich young man refused to listen. If Christ who is love can do that, I need to learn how too.
When we give freedom to others to live their lives, it boomerangs back to us. Just the awareness that we are giving them that freedom reminds us that we are a person too. Exercise the freedom to live your life while giving others the same courtesy. It makes life so much easier all around
(There is one caveat to all this. Sometimes we are responsible for the physical care of someone. Practicing that freedom under those circumstances can be very delicate. While we need to have some freedom from the pressure, we simply might not be able to have as much as we’d like, only what we need. I’m somewhat in that position myself and I never find it easy. It’s hard to know sometimes when I’m being fair to myself or just incredibly selfish.)