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The Overwhelmed Brain

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Jan 9, 2016

We all have a snapping snapping point and it can change our world when it happens.

I remember the first time I stood up for myself. I was 10.

We had just finished wrestling, as boys tend to do, and I was done... but he wasn't.

I sat at the table, tired and really not interested in wrestling anymore. And he kept saying, "Come on, let's wrestle some more."

I was like, "Nope, I'm done. Too tired, don't want to anymore."

"Come on, let's wrestle again!"

"No. I don't want to."

"Come on!" (play slaps my face)

"No... I'm done!"

"Let's go, let's just wrestle a little more!"

I don't know where it came from, but my hand turned into a fist, and my body twisted while my arm swung towards his face.

My fist connected with his jaw, and he went to the ground holding his mouth.

I sat down calmly and spoke softly, "I told you, I don't want to wrestle anymore."

He eventually got up (seemed like 5 minutes, but it was probably like 20 seconds or something - who knows!) and went home.

Up until that time, I had been a real pushover. That "friend" was actually a bully that forced me to be his friend mainly because I didn't know how to say no.

There's only so long you can be forced to do something you don't want to do until you snap. That buildup had been going on for over a year or more, and I'd had enough of his bullying.

Wow, that felt good.

The next day, he apologized and said he and his mom were going to get Chinese food and asked if I wanted to go with them.

Honestly, I didn't want anything to do with him ever again.

I hated him.

But I felt my old ways kicking in and said "yes" as I always did, and we started hanging out again after that.

Those years, where I HAD to be his friend, were quite grueling for me. You'd think once I snapped and knocked him down, I'd have this sense of empowerment and self-confidence. And for that brief moment, I did!

But I let my old personality return and I was back where I started in no time.

I never got to experience that snapping point again until I was well into my 30s. But that time, I didn't have to punch anyone - I just had to realize that I WAS IMPORTANT.

I am important enough to honor and respect AND protect from things I don't want in my life. The event that took place is another story for another time, but when this realization occurred and I honored myself for the first time in decades, I was old and wise enough to make it stick this time and from now on.

At that moment, I thought something to the effect of, "I will always honor myself even if the consequences may be unpleasant."

Of course, I would pick and choose situations to do that, but it was a new way of being... a new philosophy by which to live.

Do YOU honor yourself when there's a chance it could lead to unpleasant circumstances? Or do you hold back and let people walk all over you so your're honoring THEIR boundaries over yours?

If you've spent a lifetime honoring other people's boundaries at the cost of violating your own (like I have), then maybe it's time to treat yourself as your own best friend.

A best friend will guide you and stand up for you. They will be there when you need them.

When you can be your own best friend, you will change your world. Your best friend will help you keep your dignity and live authentically.

Your best friend will keep you from reaching that "snapping" point where you can't take anymore, because you will have already taken care of yourself.

That's what I want for you.

I also answer a letter from a woman who finds herself not really feeling compassionate towards people's petty problems.

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