Sometimes people will ask more of us than we have the capacity to give.
If we do not inform them of this fact, it is not likely their fault.
When we are pushed or pulled too far, the onus is on us to say so.
It is not the responsibility of others to know our boundaries and limitations.
Our boundaries and limitations may be different than theirs.
When this is the case, we will need to speak up for ourselves.
We will have to stand up for ourselves.
We will have to say what we need.
Of course, there are some standards of physical, emotional, and psychological integrity that should go without saying and should never be compromised.
Abuse is never acceptable or tolerable.
But, in most instances, people generally mean well and are simply ignorant of what we require, what we are capable of, and what we are not.
If we make our case intelligently and respectfully, they will understand.
If, however, they do not, it may be better to seek out different, healthier, and more balanced relationships than to allow ourselves to give beyond our capacity.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.*
*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light
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