“It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.” ~ Mandy Hale
When we feel unhappy or unappreciated, time and age have taught me to look inward. I have a friend who has always had the gift of setting boundaries. Call and ask her to brunch or an event, and if she isn’t interested, she will reply, “No, thank you.”
The first time it happened, I wondered what I could have possibly done to offend her. As time passed, I realized this was a gift and a part of who she was. There was no feeling of obligation to what others wanted or expected. She is entirely comfortable in her freedom to decline, unlike me.
I believe my purpose is to show up for people to be a sounding board and ally. It usually leaves me feeling like I made a difference, even if ever so small. I love that feeling of being their first call when they need to lean on someone. Then there are those times when I do what I think is right, sometimes even when I do not feel like it. There are no clear boundaries for me, and as such, I find myself feeling unappreciated and undervalued.
I can’t blame anyone for this, for I have set this expectation for myself and inadvertently become this person who feels like they are there for everyone else. Yet, there is no acknowledgment or appreciation. While I acknowledge my faults for the predicaments I have gotten myself into, there is also a lesson to be learned here.
Gratitude and appreciation are some of the easiest gifts we have to offer, and it is one of our most underused assets. Life is full of demands from our jobs to our family and friends. However, when you acknowledge other people, especially when they stepped outside the boundaries we may set for ourselves, we make those moments mean something. We reciprocate the gift of their time, their being.
Next time someone picks up the phone when you need to chat, drops you a check-in call out of the blue, or does anything unexpected, take a moment to acknowledge it matters and let them know.