Last week I talked about the importance of putting yourself first and left off with the thought of establishing boundaries. How are these two points related? Well, sometimes when a person is more focused on the needs of others rather than their own, they can be taken advantage of. Friends and family become used to dealing with a ‘yes’ person – that is they know that if they make a request of them, it will likely get done. In defense of the family and friends, often they are not aware that they are doing this, this is just how they have become accustomed to dealing with their loved one.
In order for a ‘yes’ person to start focusing on themselves, they can’t be at everyone’s beck and call. Byron Katie has a book titled “Loving What Is” and she references that there are three kinds of business in the world; mine, yours, and Gods. My business is everything that I can control, my thoughts, decisions, and actions. Likewise, your pile is everything that you are responsible for. God’s business (or whatever terminology you prefer) are things no one controls, like the weather. We can worry all we want whether or not it’s going to snow, but it doesn’t change the outcome. Personally, I think of the business Katie references as piles because piles can be easily visualized.
Now, we can bring on a lot of stress into our life when we should be focused on our pile, but we tiptoe into somebody else’s pile. Also, sometimes people don’t want to be responsible for their pile, so they may try to dump it on us. Often when working with clients on boundaries, I share this idea and encourage them to think about whose pile they are in.
This concept allows many clients to remove themselves from other people’s business or boot someone out of theirs, without feeling guilty. This doesn’t mean that you can never help someone out, it simply distinguish between doing a favour and becoming involved with things that you are not responsible for. Trust in yourself to be responsible for your pile and trust in your family and friends to be responsible for theirs.