Mind Your Own Business

"Mind Your Own Business" was the topic of discussion this week in one of my recovery groups. I can't tell you specifically which fellowship it is because we agree to a policy anonymity. What I will say is the thing we all have in common in this group was that we have all been affected by someone else's substance use and in our attempts to help our loved one, we have neglected ourselves. So in this weeks meeting we shared our thoughts on what "Mind Your On Business" means and how we implement it in our own life.

For me, minding my own business is two fold principle:

1. Do Not Try To Control Others

Have you ever tried to change someone's mind? Were you successful? Probably not, and if they did change their mind it's because they chose to change their mind. They were likely presented with information that they considered carefully and then drew their own conclusions. Changing someone's behavior is even more impossible than changing someone's mind because the only person who change their behavior is themselves. We have a saying in my fellowship as it pertains to our loved one's substance use. "I didn't cause it. I can't control it. I can't cure it." This mantra can be applied to literally every behavior, not just substance use. 

Imagine how much more time and energy you would have to make a positive impact in the world if: 

a. You stopped trying to change other people's behavior
b. Only tried to improve and regulate yourself

2. Take Responsibility For Myself

So, for me the second part of minding my own business is to define what is my OWN business. My first duty is to look after myself. This doesn't mean I don't care about others. It just means that my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health are my priority. 

As a parent I set a poor example to my children if I neglect myself. It's important for them to see a woman who respects herself enough to engage in a regular self care routine and set healthy boundaries. Witnessing this behavior at home teaches my kids that I am not here for their convenience and that bodily autonomy and mental wellness is paramount.

Setting healthy boundaries is a huge part of minding my own business and the biggest thing I've learned about boundaries is that they are about regulating my behavior and not someone else's. Here are some examples of my personal boundaries. Notice how all of them are about my behavior so that they are 100% enforceable by me.

1. I am responsible for managing my medical condition
2. I am financially autonomous, so that financial considerations won't dictate my relationship choices
3. I am not currently seeking an intimate partnership
4. My daily self care routine is a priority

Regulating my own behavior may not be easy, but it's a hell of a lot more effective than wasting my time and energy trying to improve another person. The great thing about boundaries that involve just myself is that I can change them at any time and not have to consult anyone else about it. When I mind my own business consistently, I notice an increase in my energy and peace of mind and this allows me to be more productive and contribute to the world around me in a positive way. 

I'll be honest for the past few years I did not mind my own business and paid the price heavily. I sacrificed my mental health and autonomy because I felt like minding someone else's business was the "right thing to do." I wrote my song Vampires out of the frustration I was feeling within my situation. Growing up female the message you're sent is that you are supposed to be nurturing, compassionate and self-sacrificing when it come to your family. While unconditional love and compassion are noble pursuit, they should never be used an excuse to accept a situation that is harmful to your health or dignity.

If you're interested in discussing any of these points further, feel free to shoot me an email because I'd love to hear from you borgqueenmusic@gmail.com

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