Protecting your heart.

Alrighty, hands up who is guilty of this one…

Being so very careful of everyone else’s heart and feelings except for their own.

Why is it so easy to be taking care of everyone else’s wants and needs, expectations, bending over backward to make sure that we’re the most excellent:

  • Mother
  • Friend
  • Lover
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Citizen
  • Person

Making sure that absolutely everybody else feels loved, appreciated, supported, valued and looked after…

But rarely expecting the same in return.

Not so long ago, I was the queen of it…

I’m pretty sure that if you look up “person who has handed out the most second chances” in the Guiness book of records, there’ll be a photo of this little black duck.

Who else has said ‘that’s ok” when it absolutely was NOT, more times than she’s stopped at the hamburger cart for hot chips and gravy on the way home from the pub?

Are we building up a mental picture here lovely people???

As a previous A-grade people pleaser and doormat extraordinaire from way back, I’ve worked long and hard to address these habits in my own life.

I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way, as well as some very beautiful ones.

I’ve learned to take care of my beautiful heart.

Though like everyone else, I’m still a magnificent work in progress.

Life still happens, I still slip every now and then… feel that sting, that exquisite pain…

This is why Protecting My Heart has made it to my “Super Power to Polish Up”  list this week.

I don’t mean protecting my heart by putting up a big wall and not letting anyone in, or not being vulnerable or putting myself out there.

It’s more about doing love in a way that works for me too.

As I set out upon my anti doormat and people pleasing quest long long ago, I remember there were 2 things that super speeded me along the path to noticing my talent for protecting everybody else’s heart and feelings but my own.

Firstly there was Julie Parker, who uttered these enlightening words at an event I attended years ago…

“Not everyone’s your people, and that’s ok.”

I cannot believe that I needed permission to know that, but I did.

And then there was this article by Danielle LaPorte, which came at exactly the right time, and reassured me that it was 100% ok to be me, to love as hard as I wanted, that I just needed to be a lot more selective about who I let into that place in my life.

These 2 revelations, started me on a path of looking at things differently.

I started to make some changes.

These days, the things I know for sure about protecting my heart would be:

Firstly, it’s not about other people or their behavior, it’s about ME.

Generally speaking, people are just people getting on with living their lives the best way they know how.

They treat you the way that they know how to love, and they treat you the way that you let them, the way that they see you treating yourself.

Knowing this, made me realize that I needed to lose the poor me.

To lose the blame game.

Because it is boring and a waste of time.

They are just people.

Doing what they know how to do. Loving the way they know how to love.

Either their version works for me, or it doesn’t… and if it doesn’t I have a choice.

And the choice you ask?

Ah, that’s the best bit…

You get to choose.

These days I really know the kind of relationships that I want and deserve in my life.

I recognise what that feels and looks like.

And I know that I deserve nothing less.

I take the time to notice the relationships that add value to my life, and I make more time and space for those people.

I am learning to let go of the ones that make me feel shit about myself, leave me feeling as if I’m consistently being disrespected.

I am learning to get back to what matters to my heart.

It’s kind of like going through your cd collection (I can hear the groans from anyone who’s being subjected to my playlist)

And popping the ones that bring me joy, leave me dancing and laughing, that I can rely on to pull me out of a funk… or that I can happily sob along to on a bad day…. and putting them right up the front where they belong.

Some people are meant to stay, and some people are meant to teach you a lesson.

If it’s a lesson, learn it, send them love and move the fuck on.

It doesn’t make you a bad person to do that.

One of the hardest parts in the beginning was to trust that it will be ok. That the people who are meant to be there, who dance the way that I dance, who will love me back with the same kind of passion and loyalty that my heart has bucket-loads of to give will stay.

These are the people who get to be in my heart.

Ta da!

So the moral of the story my lovelies…

You can spend your time, chasing after people who would never chase after you, people pleasing, accepting half arsed and pretty words, being taken for granted, and trying to work out why someone isn’t treating your right.

Or

How’s this for a plan…

Find the people who love like you do and love them back hard.

Remember your heart is a precious gift.

Your time is a finite commodity.

You have every right to be treated with kindness, consideration and respect.

Start by giving those things to yourself.

Then make room in your life for who, and for what makes you happy.

When we are protecting our hearts lovely chickies, let’s not go on and on about the people who have hurt us and the terrible things that they did…

What would that achieve? (Hint: it rhymes with truck all)

Polishing up our super powers is not about other people, it’s about self empowerment. It’s about working out what’s within our power to achieve, to control and then taking consistent action.

Let’s start by recognizing the following facts:

You are f*cking amazing.

You are more than enough.

You absolutely deserve to love and be loved in a way that works for you.

Where our precious hearts are concerned, where loving and being loved is concerned, let’s reacquaint ourselves with knowing our dance and making as much space in our lives as we can for the beautiful people who dance the way that we do.

Here’s to big f*cking fences lovely chickies, here’s to finding and loving the crap out of our people.

Here’s to living lives that we love.