Part 1: Discovering personal boundaries

This is a post dedicated to all of the over-givers out there.

You know, the ones who give without apprehension or consideration.

Those of us who give first and think later. We who see someone in need and no matter what we’re doing or need will drop everything to help them on their journey.

This one is for you.

I looked around my life today and saw an unsettling trend that I was collecting a lot of takers again.

I’ve done a major cull over the last few years of takers as I am slowly learning to have better boundaries. Some takers left easily realising that I wasn’t giving them what they needed anymore, and other more toxic and connected people were much trickier.

It wasn’t a natural thing for me to do, but eventually I got more comfortable making hard decisions that were the best thing for my life.

Like so many over-givers this is a lifetime pattern from as early as I can remember. It would be based on a decision I made when I was very young, and has shaped my entire life and self until I became aware of its impact.

My mum was the best cook out of any of my friends’ parents and as many Italian women do, she showed her love through lovingly preparing our food.

At lunchtimes I’d share with my friends quite a bit. Their packaged lunches never seemed that appealing and I could have this kind of food anytime I wanted.

Just like sharing my lunch however, what starts out with innocent intentions for us to share within our boundaries can become expected and then forced in the wrong hands.

Takers, and even more so over-takers do not like it when they’re not considered.

Whatever the reason, be it forgetting or no longer wanting to indulge their every whim, things can get nasty sometimes when we start to change.

For me, I got strangled in the playground one day because I’d finished my lunch already when this person asked for some. There was none to give and this was her reaction.

I didn’t tell a soul until my adult life, feeling like it had been my fault for not thinking to share first.

Looking back, this left me with a few scars.

It taught me that I was only worth what I was willing to give, and that I had no right to think of myself first. In fact, it may have gone as deep as showing me that my life would be in danger if I didn’t give everything I had.

Thankfully I now see that this was an extreme case of bullying and, in reality, I had every right to eat my lunch. Our subconscious doesn’t see reality unfortunately however. It only sees threats and survival.

This is more than likely what changed me from being an giver into needing to be an over-giver.

Whatever happened in your life to give you this pattern may not have been as extreme on the outside, or maybe it was. Whatever happened the internal pain and decisions from that moment are more than likely very similar.

I’m so thankful for my chronic fatigue shining light (finally!) onto how my over-giver ways were adding to this condition.

It’s a big topic so my next post will talk more about the impact of over-giving and then how to dissolve this need within yourself or any over-givers in your life.

Much love,

C

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