Unconditional Love is Not Love without Boundaries
Today I received the best holiday gift ever: a cure for all the resentment, shame, regret, and self-loathing that spoils my holidays each year.
I usually overdo, overeat, and overspend during the holidays but I now see how my confused concept of unconditional love fuels that self-destructive behavior. My misguided belief that unconditional love means not having any boundaries is the crux of my problem. It’s also the main ingredient of “Merry Resentmas” dramas.
Yes, I do love my family unconditionally. My love for them expands and deepens as I evolve; it has no limits or boundaries. But here’s the catch! I am a mere human being with a finite amount of time and energy. How I express and receive that love does require boundaries. I absolutely need to protect my limited time and energy to prevent burn out (or becoming totally pissed off at my loved ones.)
And guess what? Today’s precious gift of insight made me realize that I’ve been celebrating Christmas without any boundaries. No wonder I routinely wake up on New Year’s Day with a holiday hangover oozing with resentment and self-hatred for, once again, not taking good care of myself.
The strange thing is I’m actually pretty good about setting boundaries during the rest of the year. I routinely exercise, get my sleep, and eat well. I do know what I need, so setting boundaries come easy for me. The hard part is maintaining my boundaries. That’s where breathing comes into play.
Minding my breath allows me to notice when my boundaries have been violated. I feel my fatigue and resentment as I attend too many Christmas parties because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by telling them “No.” I sense my bellyaching after I appeased loved ones who enjoy baking by eating their sugar-laden holiday treats knowing full well sugar doesn’t agree with my system.
This year, as I maintain better boundaries, I have received yet another precious gift: I feel more comfortable when others set limits with me. Saying “No” to others is teaching me to accept when others say “No” to me. It used to hurt my feelings when my friends and family refused my invitations, but now I realize even though they love me unconditionally, they too have limited time and energy. In fact, it’s a compliment that they feel safe to be authentic with me. They are showing their unconditional love by being truthful and setting better boundaries with me.
I learned more about breathing and my innate ability to maintain my boundaries while writing my newly released, Amazon Best Seller book Rescued by my Breath. Click here to be taken to Amazon for the perfect holiday gift!