Ram Dass’s guru Neem Karoli Baba’s guidance to him was to love people and tell the truth. When it comes to maintaining healthy boundaries and our personal sovereignty I can think of no better advice. Many of us who identify as “good people” on the spiritual path fall into the trap of becoming people pleasers and getting entangled in codependent relationships. We sacrifice our peace, happiness, time and energy to be of service to others and don’t save enough for ourselves.
The antidote to this imbalance is healthy boundaries and truth. Be truthful with yourself and others. Telling people what they want to hear to protect them from the truth is a disservice to yourself and them. It cuts off the flow of love. You cannot love someone and live in a place of dishonesty, half-truths, or omitted truths. Doing that cuts off the flow of love and is a very conditional unauthentic way to live.
Are you a savior? Are people dependent upon you? What would they do without you? Do you often wonder? Many of us are or have been saviors in search of victims. We are the ones that can been relied upon. Those without whom others simply couldn’t make it. At least that is what we tell ourselves.
This is a subtle sort of ego trip. Being self-sacrificing becomes our identity. We derive our self worth from how much we give up for others. Their reliance on us becomes our meaning for living.
But sooner or later we run out of gas. Maybe you are running on fumes right now. You’ve given and given until you can’t give anymore. You are tired. You are at your wits end, and the people you’ve given so much to don’t seem to be getting any better. In fact, year after year they seem to only become more dependent on you and less able to take care of themselves.
You must fill your cup before you serve others and keep it full. You must make time to do the things that restore and uplift you. You can only serve others from a place of abundance, you cannot uplift others if you allow them to pull you down to their level of consciousness.
Recognize where your help is appreciated and utilized for growth and evolution and where you are simply being taken advantage of. A little nudge or helping hand to someone who is self-motivated and dedicated to their own healing and evolution can catalyze exponential growth. Conversely all the time and energy in the world will not serve someone who is not interested in their own growth and healing.
Listen to when and where there is a call for you to be of service to someone. Be discerning about whether their calling is sincere. Be honest about the time and energy you can spare to be of service. Recognize whether they are utilizing the service already given. Do not give more of your time and energy than they are willing and able to effectively use.
Before we consciously walk the path of healing and evolution our teacher is suffering. We suffer as much as we need to in order to awaken and do the work of confronting and healing our wounds and unconscious tendencies. Who in your life is choosing suffering? Who is choosing to learn the hard way? Who is self-motivated and using your assistance effectively?
Beware partners in pain. Who is grabbing your helping hand and seeking to pull you down to their level of consciousness? Be honest. Our partners in pain are often the people closest to us. They are often our partners, best friends, and family members. These are people we love and value, but they often have the most resistance to our own growth and evolution. Because they are attached to their perception of who we are. They are attached to an old version of us that is no longer true.
Our partners in pain seek to pull us back into old modes of being that are no longer true. Hold your ground. Defend your boundaries with love and honesty. Let it be known this is no longer who you are or wish to be. Stand your ground.
Recognize where you have codependent unbalanced relationships with people. Where are you giving more than you have to spare? Who is taking but not giving, and wasting your time and energy by not utilizing it for their own healing and evolution? Who is dependent with no interest in standing on their own two feet? Who is making you feel like a prisoner due to their perceived fragility?
Be honest about what you have to spare and other people’s willingness and ability to receive your assistance. Cut the cords on toxic codependent relationships. Stand firm in your personal sovereignty. Defend your boundaries with truth and love. Recognize when someone’s teacher is suffering and set them free to learn the lessons of their chosen curriculum.