Keeping my mouth shut
was is not a habit that came to me naturally, but the practice of doing so has served me immeasurably when it comes to learning boundaries, and in doing so, self-love. Shutting up is an empowering ability in that it allows you to keep part of yourself for yourself, which is only an issue if you don’t know how to do it. If you’re asking what’s so hard about keeping something for yourself? you’re most likely not a person who has ever struggled in this area and may not understand the issue. If you do understand the issue, you are among the many who have trouble NOT putting it ALL out there. What comes most naturally is to give each person and situation our all, wear our hearts on our sleeves and freely and easily open up to most who cross our paths. So………. STOP!! Yes, you read me right, I said STOP!! Let me assure you that you have every bit of self-control it will take to do so. Like any muscle, the “muscle” of self-control simply needs to be worked through constant and consistent practice. As we speak of often, once you ask to be given opportunities to learn, not only in areas of self-control, but in ALL areas, the universe will provide you with them. As a person who is aware that she has MUCH to learn, I can assure you that upon asking, I have not yet been without something I am “working on”! You’ve heard me say it before and you’ll hear me say it again: soul work is the same as any other workout: it’s not a once and done. One thing leads to the next, and so on. When it came to learning to set boundaries with others, I first had to learn the self-control it took to shut up and keep something for myself. This confused me because my conditioned belief had been that if I’m just naturally a giving person, doesn’t being kind and completely open to others mean I’m standing in my truth? NOPE. Now stand back a moment here because I’m going to tell you something that may crush you slightly, but once it sits with you a bit you will find that this little nugget will serve to empower you in ways you’ve yet to experience: YOU ARE NO KINDER OR IN ANY OTHER WAY “BETTER” THAN ANYBODY ELSE. (AND YOU’RE NO WORSE, EITHER).
Are you insulted by that and indignant that I thought that you ever, even once thought you were better than anybody else? Of course you don’t really think that, consciously. But your actions speak otherwise. Whenever you allow others to mistreat you in a way that hurts you in any manner without repercussions because you understand why they do it, or you’re strong enough to take it, and what would they do without your understanding, you are essentially saying that they are not capable of taking responsibility for their actions. Did you find the hidden message you’re sending? I AM CAPABLE. YOU ARE NOT. Is that what you truly believe? I didn’t think so. And you know what? Now that you realize you’re no better or worse than anyone else, you are free to release the belief that you are the one who should KNOW better, DO better, or BE better. You’re off the hook. You are a human being, just like everybody else here. You’re not “the one”. You’re the one of many out there and you are responsible for you. Solely. Keep your word, show up- remaining fully present, and do your best. Allow others the opportunity to do the same- for themselves. When they choose not to, it is not your place to jump in and save the day. If you struggle with that, believing it is unkind not to pick up in an area where someone is lacking, think of it this way: is it your place to stand in the way of what may have been meant to be a life lesson for someone else? Having unwittingly blocked other people’s life lessons frequently in my past, I understand the level of difficulty involved in not “saving” the situation due to a belief that it’s the “right” thing to do- another conditioned belief that needed deconstructing. Deconstructing this belief and changing my behavior did not happen instantly and sometimes required bouts of putting my head between my knees and deep breathing until the urge to “do as I’d always done” passed. Lifelong behaviors don’t change overnight. Be patient with yourself and others when learning new methods of interaction and stay on course. Your tenacity will pay off.
It’s not an exaggeration to tell you that sometimes keeping my mouth shut was such a challenge for me that my mouth actually ached. Yes, it was that difficult! But the discomfort is worth it. Using discernment regarding what you choose to share allows you to consistently keep something for yourself. It is the first step in recognizing that you have complete control over what information you entrust to others and identifying your actual motive involved in doing so (validation, ego, understanding, etc…). This eventually leads you to begin extending the same discretion upon that which you choose to let in to your life as well. You are a valuable commodity and many will attempt to cross your border. As Joyce Meyer has warned, don’t make the mistake of believing you have to let everybody in without doing a little border patrol first.