As we spoke about boundaries the other day, the universe provided a test—like she does. I’ve learned in the last 48 hours that I’m not very clear when setting boundaries. Rather, I’m not very clear with enforcing my boundaries. I feel very passionately and express myself clearly—but I don’t enforce well. My first reaction is to bend so people won’t think I’m inflexible. And then I get mad because I give in to what other people want in hopes they will one day bend for me. Which they never do.
Friday started off well enough with a prioritization meeting with my team. In the middle of my meeting another manager called one of my employees to ask her to help set up another employee on a third team get set up for the day. I had told her to answer the phone because she assists with overtime in the other manager’s department and I assumed they were setting something up for the weekend, no big deal. I was not anticipating he was using her during her shift on our time to troubleshoot another team’s staff member. I couldn’t understand why the third person’s manager couldn’t set up this employee. And why did my coworkers feel it is ok to call my employee and have her work with their teams?
Around three o’clock, my mother was taken to the hospital. None of our family has been allowed to see her due to COVID restrictions (understandable) and we weren’t getting any information from them when we called. After waiting three hours and numerous calls to the hospital, the woman I spoke with lost her temper with me and I rose to the bait—with zero regret I may add. She insinuated that I was trying to breach HIPAA and I finally yelled at her that my mother had no ID with her, no information, no one is allowed to be there to advocate for her, and she has no idea what is happening. I couldn’t understand why it took getting to that level to be heard and understood that this situation wasn’t about who is right or wrong, it was about my mother and her safety. After six hours with no contact, we finally got some answers.
So for me, in a radical demonstration of self-love, I am no longer apologizing for standing up for what is right. I am not apologizing for upsetting someone’s day when someone’s life is on the line. I care more about what I need to do and developing my goals than I do making people like me. Also in a radical demonstration of self-love, I have to enforce my boundaries with myself. While I need to be flexible, I also need to be stricter. I let myself off the hook too much for the things I want to do. I will often let myself not do something if I don’t feel like it. And I can see where that makes my overall boundaries lax. If I can’t stick to my own word, why would other people?
A final act of self-love, I will learn to forgive myself when I am not able to meet my own expectations and I will get back on track as soon as possible. For example, on Saturday I was dealing with my mom’s situation all day and I wasn’t able to post. That had nothing to do not wanting to do what was important to me, that was life saying I needed to deal what was important to someone else. There is no need to feel guilty for that—even though I do. I think I feel guilty in those moments when I’m truly unable to do something I intended to because I recognize I had opportunity in other times to do it and I chose not to. I’m forgiving myself for that too. All I can do is aim for balance and work on these things with more discipline. Everything else is gravy.