Courage Integrity Assertiveness Confidence Restraint

Friday, May 20, 2011

If YOU were in the DICTIONARY... it's Journal Entry Friday!

Yesterday I posed the question,
"If YOU were in a dictionary, what would you WANT your definition to be?"

Jay McGraw (Dr. Phil's son) says, "You have to name it, before you can claim it." You can't go through life not knowing what you stand for. There's a famous quote that says, "If you don't know what you stand for, you will fall for anything."

I have talked to so many girls over the years who tell me about a boy taking advantage of them physically. They tell me the boy just kept saying, "Shhh, it's ok." They tell me they just weren't comfortable saying, "No!" In all cases these girls feel like something has been stolen from them. There is no doubt in their minds that those boys were wrong in what they did. They don't doubt that giving themselves (even parts of themselves) away was a mistake they will deal with for the rest of their lives. So, why did they let it happen?

I believe these things happen because we don't lay down CONCRETE boundaries in our lives. Girls as young as 2 and 3 are taught about inappropriate touching and what to do if it happens. But when you girls grow up, you get to a point in your lives where your mom can't determine your boundaries anymore. You need to OWN your decisions about what DEFINES you. YOU have this responsibility but all too often no one tells you that. Then you get into a situation with a boy or a mean girl pressuring you to do something you believe to be wrong and because you don't STAND for anything you FALL for their lies.

I am going to tell you a story from when I was 19.

I spent my high school years being the "goody two shoes." Some people made fun of me but mostly it was the girls who weren't as virtuous as I was and I just read into it that they were jealous that I was strong enough to say "no" to many things I was confronted with. I wasn't an outcast, I was a cheerleader, I dated the star basketball player on and off for 3 years. I was active in clubs and activities in school, I was in the Show Choir (which wasn't as drama-filled as GLEE!) So it wasn't my lack of popularity that made me a target, it was simply my choices and how OTHER people felt about if I was wearing shirts that said, "I am better than you because I don't.... or .... or...."

When I went to college, I dated a boy that was my first experience with a "bad boy" so these boundaries I had set for myself were truly tested. I hadn't had anyone ask me, "What DEFINES you?" or "What are your personal concrete boundaries?" I was TOLD by my mom what the answers to those questions were. But, being in this not-so-healthy relationship helped me make those answers MY OWN.

One day I realized that when you have DEFINED BOUNDARIES, people can just sense it. When your boundaries are obvious by what you say, do and how you don't deal with alot of what other girls your age do when it comes to peer pressure.

My boyfriend and I were at a party at his friend Rob's house. Unbeknownst to me, Rob was the biggest pig on the planet. At one point in the party a couple girls I didn't know came up to me and said, "We aren't sure what is going on but ever since you got here, Rob has been on his best behavior." I had no idea what they were talking about, I had never met the kid before so I had nothing to compare it to. On the way home that night, my boyfriend said, "Ya know, Rob really respects you. He didn't swear once or tell a dirty joke or be a pig once. It's like he KNEW you were a 'good girl'. I didn't think Rob had a decent bone in his body."

It was then that I realized that living my life the way I did, was SHOWING people what I would and would not accept from them. I didn't have to have a toe-to-toe confrontation with Rob to tell him my feelings about his foul mouth...he just behaved himself b/c it's what I EXPECTED. It was my DEFINITION.

"If YOU were in a dictionary, what would you WANT your definition to be?"

Now, I will tell you that staying together with this 'bad boy' led me down some roads where I stepped across my own boundaries enough times that what I had worked to build for those 19 years, fell and I had to rebuild portions of it again. So, I can see this situation from more that one side. I know what it's like to fall. But I know how much easier it is to get up if you BELIEVE in your own DEFINITION!

Use the following journal page to hash out your own PERSONAL DEFINITION. What will you demand from those around you? Respect, appropriate behaviors, drug-free friends, no bullying, no foul jokes, etc.....

Write your name as the word being DEFINED, then follow it with the definition...."a person who expects ........... a person who doesn't......... a person who won't tolerate............ a person who will always...................." Add more if you like.

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