It all boils down to – do I respect who I am? Do I respect who you are? My true respect for you directly correlates to my respect for myself.
I remember growing up, it seemed to my immature mind that who I was mattered less than making sure other people didn’t ostracize me, shun me, unfriend me. A lot of energy was spent either in silent rebellion or activating my inner chameleon, accommodating the ebbs and flows of different people’s expectations of me … or rather my assumption of their expectations. Not a lot of self respect for my unique combination of talents, dreams, and challenges.
One of my most important acts of maturation was the honing of my self respect – sloughing off what was “not me” – and by trial and error, refining my “knowing” of who I am.
Second stage – employing my backbone to sustain that “knowing” by being very clear about what behaviors/attitudes are OK/not OK, i.e., what’s respectful of me, what’s respectful of you.
Boundaries … the most important ones to keep are my own – what’s OK/Not OK regarding my own behavior in the world. Betraying my own boundaries impacts my self respect – the deeper the betrayal, the more damage to my self respect …which makes it easier to keep betraying Who I AM…which makes it easier for you to betray Who I am.
PS An experiential webinar about Boundaries is available March 31, 1:00pm-2:30pm Central Daylight Savings Time, US$33. Register here.