Do you set boundaries for yourself? Do you feel guilty or restricted when you do?
Maybe you’ve become more confident sharing your thoughts and experiences or speaking up for yourself and others.
But the more you speak up, the more you’re met with all the things you worked really hard to unlearn. All the voices telling you that you’re not enough. That something’s wrong with you. Or that you don’t deserve to feel good about yourself because [fill in the blank].
Your self esteem is your level of confidence in your own worth and abilities. But I find it disingenuous to pretend like having high self esteem means your feelings can’t be hurt.
Or that if you “let” someone hurt you, you’re seeking something from them besides simple respect as a human being.
I can tell you firsthand that it’s very disheartening to be reminded that there are people who have convinced themselves (and many others) that I don’t deserve the same rights, protections, access, opportunities, or even the right to live simply because I’m a Black woman.
There’s a lot self love can do for you but it can’t change other people. Fortunately, you can protect yourself!
I spend a lot of time online. Twitter in particular has been a great space for me to learn and grow by interacting with people who are different from me. I’ve been able to explore other viewpoints, learn the nuances of how other people exist, and find solidarity.
Through the internet, we have constant access to information that we may not have had otherwise. So we feel a need to be constantly engaged (or constantly be accessible) to stay in the know.
But I realized I had to learn how to balance staying informed with protecting my self esteem. And I learned to do this by setting boundaries…for MYSELF!
This meant learning to limit my time spent engaging with certain content. It meant:
?It was okay to never view a disturbing video or photo to understand all the details of a discussion,
?It was possible to agree that sharing hateful messages received helps teach others what we experience without forcing myself to read the ones directed at people like me,
?It was okay to not engage with someone who clearly just wanted argue in an effort to show I wasn’t backing down,
?I was allowed to focus my energy elsewhere and not think about every single issue constantly,
?It was okay to take a break from constant updates surrounding an issue when the world feels too heavy.
Basically, I learned it was okay to protect myself by taking steps to actively prioritize my own mental health and emotional wellbeing.
If you need a protective, thoughtful, and reassuring reminder that you can protect yourself, try using turquoise!
How do you protect yourself? Let me know in the comments.