We all have a family of origin, the one we were born in to. However, we all have places and people who provide a feeling of belonging for us. This can be our local community, our clubs, our friends, our partner's family and friends and places we feel at home in that we visit. If we have no family of origin anymore because they have passed over perhaps, then families of choice become more essential for our well-being. The things you regularly go to, the places you visit and the people you interact with become more important in your life. This can mean we need to be discerning who and what we do as it's based on choice. It can mean we may have to make decisions to move on when a situation becomes unhealthy for us or doesn't support our happiness and life path. We can, nevertheless, get rich rewards from reaching out to embrace more situations and people in our life outwith a family of origin. This can promote growth and learning as more people and situations give us opportunities.
We all use our power in life which can bring harmony to people and situations or not. The right use of power is to heal not harm even if that means we walk away to another chapter in life. We understand we are all evolving and need compassion when we make mistakes. We use power wisely if we help people in our communities in ways that do not detract from their independence or privacy. We offer advice based on kindness and tact if asked. We refrain from giving unsolicited advice to boost our own egos. The wise use of power in wider society is to help the vulnerable without treating them as less than ourselves simply because they are not as fortunate. We are all students in life learning from each other. with relationships the best mirror for our own growth. In our lives, the wise use of power is to find ways to share skills and experience and not to discard them as irrelevant. It is valuing yourself and your contribution without feeling you are not good enough. It is thinking before you act or speak. It is speaking your truth respectfully , owning it, and realizing it is your take on reality and may not be everyone's. Standing in your own power can be frightening but it is freeing as well. With freedom comes responsibility. We need to use it well and wisely.
You teach others how you want to be treated by the amount you will tolerate. You also role model to others by your actions rather than words. Children especially pick up on this! Saying no to requests is not impolite but your right although at times difficult. We each have certain situations we find more challenging to say no to than others. Being assertive isn't about aggression. It's about listening with respect and compassion to yourself and others whilst maintaining your own boundaries. It's about balance and being aware of your limits. One of my main indicators in a situation I need to say yes or no to is how I feel in my body; am I tense, how does my gut feel? Over the top enthusiasm can also be an indicator that you may need to stand back and take time to decide! We can take too many things on in good faith then wish we hadn't and try to back out.Over commitment isn't a healthy path in the long-term. If you're being pushed for an answer especially by sales people you are more than likely being bullied. Do you really want to say yes to that?
Choosing your own health and happiness over the fears and thoughts of others can be difficult sometimes.. However, having good personal boundaries, which take your needs in to consideration, is essential for your well-being and that of others. If we push ourselves beyond our limits for health and happiness we may end up being unable to care for others anyway or indeed ourselves. I've always believed good health is a precious gift to be cherished not taken for granted. I've also realized good fences make good neighbors as the saying goes has a lot of truth in it. If we don't know where we stop and others begin we start to enmesh in their lives rather than live our own or let them live theirs. Finding the right balance between being an individual with your own needs and wants and being part of the human community can be a lifelong challenge as well as an opportunity to grow. Everyone is unique and needs a different level of solitude and company. One size doesn't fit all which is the beauty of our human tapestry.
I've just read a brilliant book called I love me -the science of self-love by David R. Hamilton, PhD. I'd recommend it anyone who wants to increase their sense of well-being and self-esteem. It blends science with spirituality and self-development taking you from I am not enough to I am enough. Easy to read and good exercises to follow at the end of chapters.
Ankhra Laan-Ra. Glasgow based Well-being and Fitness Coach.