Breaking Free

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.” Psalm 118:5

Sometimes one can walk through life unaware of what they have allowed themselves to be chained to. Being in bondage to others can be a repeated generational pattern or it can simply come from a place of hurt, pain, and the desire for love and relationships. If we are not mindful of our own toxic traits, how can we distinguish when someone is keeping us tied to them or if we are the ones holding on for all the wrong reasons? Long ago, I watched a video with Iyanla Vanzant speaking and she said something along the lines of us “knowing crazy and seeing it come towards us and yet we don’t walk the other way.” For many years in my younger life, I fell prey to certain individuals that I allowed to keep me in bondage. I knew better, I saw crazy, the red flags were blaring and yet, setting the boundary was difficult. Many fears crippled me and there was, to a degree, a sense of people pleasing on my end. Those fears kept me in dark situations and spaces longer than I would like to admit. 

As I began to work on myself and set out on this journey of finding me, I recognized that I had to be intentional and that my healing  was my responsibility. This meant that I would have to create perimeters for myself to protect the soil I was standing on. For way too long, I had permitted bad seeds to fall on my ground and like a farmer or a gardener, I had to dig and do deeper work if I truly wanted change. I had to pull the weeds and replant if I wanted to see a harvest. Did this mean that some people would be upset? Yes, they sure would be. Many of you may ask, why is it that people get upset when you are setting boundaries? And the truth is that people who are benefiting from you and your people pleasing tendencies, will no longer have access to you and what they can take from you. Setting boundaries may seem difficult and saying no may not come easy, but for healing to take place, it is absolutely necessary! Remember, healing is your responsibility and no one else’s. 

Some of the things that have helped me on my journey are taking an inner look at myself and seeing if certain people were helping me to produce and bear fruit or were they snatching the fruit from me and leaving my branches empty and bare.  Once I did this inventory of myself and those around me, I realized that I needed to make some modifications in my life and that what I really wanted more than anything was peace. I was tired of being used and abused. I was tired of my own behavior patterns, and I just could not continue living this way. As I began to heal and deal with my childhood traumas, I began to understand the reasons for many things. I let go of old hurt and surrendered it all to God, trusting that I would be set free from my past. That I mattered and that I indeed did have a purpose for my life and that I was worthy of more than what I was used to receiving. Once I began to comprehend this, the easier it became to say “no” and to protect myself from the snares of others. 

If you feel bound to someone or something, I encourage you to do a deep dive and some self-reflecting to see where you are right now in your life. Do you feel stuck? Do you feel used and abused? Are you tired of people taking advantage of you? Are you resentful after you agree to do something for someone else? You too can be freed from strongholds, and you too can set boundaries for yourself. And life can be good, really good! 

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.” Psalm 118:5

Damari Pedroza