Because I'm Not a Bitch

After a long day last week, you’d be shocked to hear that this Irish chick decided to indulge on a divine glass of velvety red at one of my fave spots in LA. What can I say? I’m me father’s daughter.

Unfortunately, my lil Tuesday treat was interrupted by an overbearingly loud conversation between the waitress and what appeared to be a regular customer.

The middle-aged man was enthralled by this 28-year-old hottie patottie’s break-up story, asking all kinds of invasive questions she seemed to have no problem divulging.

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“If you’re not with him anymore, why are you still talking to him?”   

Her response was like nails on a chalkboard:

“Because I’m not a B-I-T-C-H.”

(Yep. She spelled it. Don’t get me started on spelling ANYTHING to a grown-ass man, but I digress.)

Suddenly the brutal conversation I so desperately wanted to drown out, I now so inappropriately wanted to join!

WHY IS IT THAT A WOMAN HOLDING A HEALTHY BOUNDARY MEANS THAT SHE’S A BITCH?!

To be fair, I don’t know if she was giving polite answers (hence the unnecessary spelling) and doing her best to keep SOME of her personal life, well…personal, but something in me felt there was truth to her fear of being perceived as a bitch.

I certainly can relate but as someone who has gotten to the other side of knowing that holding boundaries are way healthier—EVEN AT THE COST OF SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT THINKING YOU’RE A BITCH—I wanted to shake this girl a lil bit.

Now there’s a host of other reasons why we don’t want to let go of unhealthy relationships or friendships, besides worrying what they’ll think, such as the fear of being alone. 

Or you genuinely love them because of the history you shared so it’s heart-wrenching to let the person go.

Or you can’t imagine ever finding the qualities you admire and love about them in your next relationship.

Martha Beck created a simple yet powerful diagram that she describes as a “metaphor for our psyches” in her book, Steering By Starlight. (pic above)

The outer ring is the “Shallows” where most of us resort to staying. I like to describe it as living in the comfort of our discomfort, like staying in the relationship that no longer serves us.

Or holding on to the job that sucks your soul but because it pays well you “can’t” leave.

Or binging on food, alcohol, social media, or shopping as a way to scratch an itch but you’re left obsessing over your tight jeans, feeling sluggish, jealous, inferior and/or broke most of the time. Entering the middle “Ring of Fire” is where we stop the madness.    

I’m not gonna lie- it BURNS LIKE HELL.

But once you walk through it, embracing the fear and pain of uncertainty and loss at the cost of sticking to the needs of YOUR TRUE SELF, you finally get to your “CORE OF PEACE” where allllll the gold is!

Where Mr. Right can finally show up.

Where the perfect job can find you.

Where your jeans are a little looser and your bulging wallet is a little tighter.

Despite my burning desire (pun intended) to impress all of this knowledge and my seven extra years of wisdom upon her, I downed the vino and got up to leave.

Mr. Regular Customer then turns to me and asks what I find to be one of the most annoying questions living in both LA and NY for the last fifteen years: “Are you an actress?”

Me: “Yes”

MRC: “How’s that going for you?”

My highly-evolved boundaried self said: “I’d rather not get into my acting career or the non-existence of it with someone I don’t know. Have a good night.”

Uch, I’m lying.

I didn’t want him to think I was a bitch.

Still got work to do.

Happy Claire Your Mind Monday.

What boundaries are you not creating that end up costing you more pain than pleasure?  Is there a small step you can take today to help you get closer to your core of peace? Comment and share below!

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