Y’all wouldn’t believe the kind of week that I’ve had, okay? I’ve been tried, tested, and then some. Sometimes, all in one day, I’ve experienced anger, sadness, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Nevertheless, I survived, and I’m here to share my experience and everything that I’ve learned during this tiresome week.
As you all know, I go to therapy once a week to help me in my journey of learning, growing, and discovering new things about my mental health. In my sessions, my therapist has worked with me to help me understand the importance of asserting myself and creating clear and distinct boundaries that I must enforce. Specifically, I’m learning to say, “No” to things that will not serve me in my journey of growth, put my needs and wants first, surround myself with positive people and positive energy, and do what makes Jasmine happy.
I used to always fall for the guilt-trips and the tricks to make me do something that I never wanted to do in the first place. I would always start by saying, “No,” but then I’d be too easily pressured into saying, “Okay, fine. I’ll do it.” Well, I am proud to say that this is no more! My therapist put it best when she said, “How can you expect people to respect your boundaries when you don’t enforce it yourself? How can you expect people to respect your ‘No,’ when you don’t even respect your ‘No’.” That’s a lesson right there, and it’s all I needed to hear to make a change in my life.
Some people in my life are very understanding and encouraging of my growth because I haven’t been as assertive as I should have been. However, there are also some people in my life who are not as supportive as I thought they would be. They will hear my “No,” and continue to pressure, persuade, and guilt trip me into helping them… but my answer has remained the same. No longer am I letting people walk all over me or cross a clear boundary that I have set, and that does not sit well with some people — let’s talk about why.
Since I have been more assertive, I’ve been called a “mean” person. I was told that therapy has made me say mean things and that my therapist doesn’t know everything. If you know me or even if you’ve read a few of my blogs, you know that I am not mean. Even when I’m asserting myself, I am only being steadfast and unwavering in my decision — whatever decision that may be, my stance will not change. When I discussed what happened this week with my therapist, she opened my eyes. She explained that people don’t like change, especially when a relationship that they’ve always known to be one way begins to change into something else. So, if you’ve always been easily persuadable and now you’re unwavering in your decisions, some people do not know how to handle that, and that’s okay.
When you start to notice that you are growing and changing for the better, it’s important to remember that not everyone will grow with you. There will be some people in your life who don’t understand why you’re changing because they want things to be exactly the way that they’ve always been. However, it is not your obligation to make everyone around you comfortable. You have to do what’s best for you, otherwise, you’ll spend your entire life trying to make other people happy while you are miserable. That’s no way to live.
You may lose some people along the way, and that’s truly unfortunate. I won’t say that it won’t affect you because it will be hard. Some of these people that you might lose along the way will be close friends who you’ve known for years or your parents who’ve always been so supportive of you and now they’re not. It will sting and bring up a lot of emotions that you’ll have to sort through, but I promise you’ll be better because of it. And, who knows? Maybe those same people who can’t grow with you now will one day be able to grow with you in the future. No matter what the future holds, I encourage all of you to continue to grow in whatever way that growth looks like for you. We all get one chance at life, and it’s important that we make the most of it, regardless of who wants your life to look or be a certain way.
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”
— N. R. Narayana Murthy