During my season of reshaping, redefining, and rediscovery - I’ve realized that there are so many things that I have tolerated in my life that I should have erased a long time ago. Out of the easy spirit of content and complacency, I allowed people, situations, circumstances, and even some people’s energy to be tolerated. I consider myself to be a pretty selfless person. I will give my last just so my loved ones can have it. I will sacrifice my happiness and joy just so others can have a smile on their face. I would lose sleep at night due to restlessness just because I am trying to carry burdens that do not even belong to me. After going through some mental, emotional, and spiritual evaluations - I had to finally say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
I will always be a selfless person, but I need to learn to be selfish at times for the sake of my own peace, sanity, and energy. The toxic people I use to tolerate in my presence out of comfort - goodbye to you. The draining, sleepless nights I use to deal with because of other people’s burdens - goodbye to you. The overdone time and money I have sacrificed to help others while I struggle on my own - goodbye to you. I will always be there to help, but like the saying goes “I cannot pour from an empty cup”. How can I sacrifice time and money when I have none to give? How can I “manage” to be around certain energies when I have no energy to give? It is impossible! I cannot do that and keep my sanity at the same time. So I decided to develop a list of non-negotiables that I expect from my relationship, my friendships, my career, and from myself! Non-negotiables are values, standards, desires, and beliefs that I will stand flat foot, solid on no matter what anyone says, what anyone thinks, or what anyone believes!
I will not allow anyone who is against my family or close friends to encounter my presence or my space.
I have to start studying (not just reading, but studying) the word of God outside of my daily devotionals, Sunday morning sermons, and Wednesday night bible study.
I will not marry a man who does not believe or serve God. Periodt.
I need stability and consistency. If you are in a relationship or friendship with me - I do not do the roller coaster stuff. That is the quickest way for me to dip.
Authenticity. If you cannot be real with me in every aspect of my life - I feel a lack of trust and loyalty, and I cannot roll like that. So be real with me or don’t be involved with me at all.
I will practice gratitude everyday for personal, spiritual growth!
I will surround myself with people who are goal driven and want more out of life. Everyone will not be on the same level, but if you are working towards something - that ignites passion in me when I feel like giving up. I need that kind of energy.
Honesty. I cannot stand a liar. I need honest people around me. Honest, accountable friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, etc. It helps me grow and eventually grow to trust you.
I will learn how to say no sometimes and not feel bad for it. I cannot do everything and go everywhere, so sometimes my no will help me say yes to myself.
I have to take at least one day out of the month to pamper myself because I deserve it. Balancing being a teacher, graduate school, church obligations, and family/friends - I need a break to myself!
I will not allow people to place me in the middle of their mess. In counseling, we call that triangulation. I can be a bystander for accountability, wise advice, and comfort - but I am not a part of the drama/mess. I am protecting my peace.
Respect. I will always and forever respect myself and will demand (not demand, but expect) respect from others because if anyone cannot respect me - they cannot be a part of my life. If I cannot respect myself - I cannot fulfill the duties of my non-negotiables.
Although my list could have been longer, I understand that in this season in my life - there are somethings I cherish more than others….and that is my peace. So if I have to constant reflect on my non-negotiables to run checks and balances with myself and everyone around me, I will do so just so I can make sure I am living in the level of peace I desire. So I challenge you to make your own list of non-negotiables. Make sure you can access them at all times so you too can check your peace!
It is okay to be selfish at times.
It is okay to say no.
Develop a list to stand firm on your standards and beliefs.
Protect your peace!