A few years ago, *Megan, a friend of mine, was telling me about a conversation with her boyfriend. He’d made a few comments about how he thought it was cool that I lived on a farm. Megan gave him a hard time and jokingly said, “Do you want to date my friend?!”
Of course he said no and she was just kidding anyway but what she said next has stuck with me since.
Megan said, “Then I thought, ‘Well good, because she’d never put up with your crap anyway.‘”
Megan’s boyfriend at the time wasn’t great. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t awesome. He was…okay. But when you have a friend like Megan that is in the top 3% in the universe of awesome girls, this guy didn’t come close to deserving her.
I knew that. I think other people knew that.
But did she know that?
Because her comment that I wouldn’t put up with his crap made me think…
Then why do you?
If something is not okay for me, why is it okay for you?
I’ve had a similar example happen with my mom. My mom is one of the most precious, loving, hard-working women I know. She’s selfless to a fault. I’ve grown up watching her give her last dime to a stranger in need, wear old clothes from thrift stores to have money for someone else’s needs and cut her own hair because she feels like going to a salon is too much.
But when she sees me wearing a shirt that looks cheap or old, she is quick to tell me, “You need to get nice new clothes – expensive clothes. Don’t buy this cheap crap. That is unacceptable for you.”
And my mind goes to the same place.
Why is it acceptable for you?
In both of these situations, Megan and my mom could see that I value myself. I unapologetically proclaim myself as a priority in my own life. That doesn’t mean I don’t give and help others – I absolutely do. And because I value myself first, when I give and help others, it comes from a place of strength and abundance – not from a place of exhaustion, overcommitment, obligation or resentment.
Self-esteem, self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-confidence…they all start with SELF. Every day, by how you live your life, you are showing others what you believe about yourself and teaching them what they should believe about you. You teach people how to treat you and therefore you cannot complain about the things which you permit in your life.
When a girl complains that her boyfriend treats her like a doormat, my response is not “What a jerk!” My response is, “Why do you allow someone in your life that treats you like a doormat?”
You are always teaching people how to treat you – what is permissible for you and what is not. Set a good example for them by treating yourself well and clear your life of old clothes, destructive habits and bad people.
Let’s do a little Spring cleaning, shall we?