I’ve been encouraged to put others first. Often, I haven’t even put myself in the equation. Someone asks me to do something and the first thing I hear myself say is yes. Never mind that I don’t really want to, someone needs me and I’m there.
I am getting much better at saying no, but what I’m really getting better at is knowing what I want. My no is informed by my heart’s desire and so is my yes.
For the longest time I didn’t differentiate my wants from someone else’s. Being an empath can confuse things. But I also have codependent tendencies. I want to control my environment which includes people and their feelings. Not a good way to live so I’m working on it and knowing what’s in my heart has helped immensely.
Here are some ways you can get to know your heart better and disentangle your emotions from the wants and needs of others.
Even with all the work I’ve done on myself, I still find myself wanting to please others or control them. People don’t even have to ask me to do something before I’m jumping in to do it for them. Since this was such an automatic reaction, I found disentangling from my desire to help, please and control was the best place to begin.
- Cut the threads. We are weaving a web with all of our shoulds, have tos, etc. These expectations of ourselves and from others can create a very tangled web. Imagine wielding a sword and every time you feel drawn to dive in to help or control or please, cut those threads.
- Know your boundaries. Know where you stop and someone else begins. Then get good at creating boundaries around how others are allowed to treat you and what they can ask of you.
- Simply ask yourself the question that is the title of this blog. Sometimes your wants match someone else’s, but it’s good to check in with yourself to be sure.
Know Your Heart
- Meditate. Get comfortable with the quiet and listen. Your heart’s desires have been ignored for so long that you may not know what they sound like, look like, feel like. Take time to get to know yourself again.
- Slow down. This is related to the suggestion above. Keep this in mind when someone asks you to do something. Slow down. Tell them you’ll get back to them. Don’t be in a rush to say yes or no. Don’t be in a rush, period. Living at a fast pace is not conducive to knowing your heart. We often trample our desires when we’re in a hurry. Slow down.
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