The Unleashed One here. Checking in on everyone.
As you can tell by the date, it's the last day of August. Some people forget there are 31 days in August. During a work call, someone was reminding people that Labor Day was coming up, but it's not this Monday, but the following Monday. Let's just hope folks remembered to double-check their calendar.
Right on the heels of August is September. As most of you know, I celebrate my birthday all month long, even though the 12th is the exact date. I am so tempted to just shout out some birthday requests and wishes, but I'll reserve that for my Social Media spots.
I lead in with that to show that I've developed a positive covenant with myself, an affirmation that took the longest to implement.
For those who may not know what a "covenant" is, the most straightforward definition is "an agreement". But now, you may have the question, "Unleashed One, why did you have to make an agreement with yourself?"
I had to establish a covenant with myself, in short, to establish necessary boundaries and foster behaviors and practices to contribute to positive growth.
To some people, that may be a very easy practice, but for me, it was highly challenging for numerous reasons:
(1) Because it is in my nature to be kind, individuals would take advantage of my kindness.
(2) Because I am an empath, emotions and situations can be overwhelming for me without boundaries in place.
(3) Because there is a lot of toxicity in my origins, at times, I relied too much on how the world perceived me externally.
(4) Because I was doing my best to battle the stigma left by others in the past, I didn't take time to separate how much of the battle was mine versus fighting it for others.
(5) Because I was taught that compromise was the key to fostering lasting relationships, I initially lacked the ability to know when it switched to self-sacrifice until I was very deep into the relationships or in the aftermath of the events.
(6) Because displays of speaking resulting in chaos, I stayed silent in the past, despite how much the silence suffocated me.
To establish this covenant, I've had to unlearn most behaviors, including the ones I clung on to as defense mechanisms. Some of these defense mechanisms prevented me from doing the shadow work I needed to do in order to get to better places in my life. Not just externally but more internally.
So, as it stands, here is the core of my covenant with myself:
(a) Promise to utilize the word "no" in situations where I'm uncomfortable and not offer an apology for refusal, unless it is warranted
(b) Give myself permission to socially disengage when my mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual self is impacted and resist the urge to apologize
(c) Listen to my body when it needs physical, mental, or emotional rest
(d) Only offer advice when asked of me
(e) Do not continue to give advice if the person who asked me for advice rarely or never takes it
(f) Put myself in situations where I start feeling "obligated" to help
(g) Refrain from letting the "potential" of a person blind me to the "present reality" of a person and accept that some people won't or refuse to get to their maximum vibrancy
(h) Speak on grievances at the moment when I am feeling them, for suppressing them is toxic to my empath
(i) Give myself time to process on what I'm feeling before giving them audio, for it keeps down misunderstandings
(j) Dedicate myself to education on growth in all areas of my life
(k) No longer carry mishaps from work after hours—when my workday ends, thoughts of the job end; it's healthier for me to keep those separated
(l) Will be strategic in my accessibility, both personal and professional
(m) Remain open to hearing other points of view, regardless of whether I'm in agreement