Setting boundaries

I like to think I'm good at setting boundaries, but the truth of the matter is, sometimes I'm not. Sometimes when I want someone to like me, or I want to hold on to a relationship that I think could be something great, or I want to believe that giving it just a little more time will allow the relationship to grow, I let myself get a little taken advantage of. I let my shield of self-preservation drop.

And I wish I could say I was making myself more vulnerable by letting down that shield, but really, that's a shield that needs to stay firmly in place. I try to convince myself that this shield of self-preservation is a defense mechanism that I keep up to keep those who might hurt me at bay and that letting it down isn't a bad thing; but really those who care about me and want the best for me also want me to preserve myself almost as much as I should want to.

So when we have to let people in by dropping our need to put ourselves and our happiness first, we aren't really doing the relationship any good because we are doing ourselves harm. And a relationship that hurts us can't be good for us- in the short run or the long. A relationship that causes us to work more than it causes us to feel exuberant, a relationship that causes us to question ourselves more than we question why we are in something that isn't working, a relationship that makes us feel less than or not enough, can't be a relationship worth our effort.

And maybe when we embrace that though it may be difficult on our own, at least we won't be letting pieces of ourselves fall by the wayside. When we understand that being alone is better than feeling less than enough as part of a couple; when we choose to be who we are wholly and completely instead of part of something that is a struggle,  maybe then we love ourselves just as much as we would like to give that love to someone else and have them feel the same in return.

After all, this is the life.