Protecting yourself from those who take up too much of your time and energy is vital for your overall health. After all, these things are necessary for you to function and be happy in this world. For me this understanding was highlighted about sixteen-years-ago when I met a healer in Mt. Shasta (California).
This woman had a very interesting way of describing the importance and the reason for setting appropriate boundaries (especially when this has been an issue in the past). She used the pendulum as a metaphor for the need for balance in life – that is, if the weight swings too often to one side (i.e. saying ‘Yes’ repeatedly especially to the wrong people) then it has to swing the other way several times (i.e. saying ‘No’) before some point of equilibrium is reached within the Self.
I recall what she said at the end of this discussion, “Don’t be surprised if you have to say ‘No’ for a very long time before the pendulum can come back to the middle again.” I assumed that the words ‘very long time’ meant years and I was right… It is close to two decades since that conversation and I am still saying ‘No’ probably more now than I ever have before.
Setting such limits with people has brought its fair share of criticism mostly by way of being called ‘rigid’, ‘inflexible’ and ‘closed’ – but what I am really doing is creating balance in my life and protecting myself at the same time.
Looking back on it now, this healer was a blessing – she came into my life for a few days only when I was just beginning to learn some valuable lessons about life. I am also glad that I was willing to listen and act upon this sage advice.