I want to start this year not with gentle reminders, but with flashing light bulbs and billboard statement: DON’T LET ANYONE GET COMFORTABLE WITH DISRESPECTING YOU.

I have been quiet during the last quarter of the past year. I needed to face personal battles. I had to confront and chose to battle bulls head on.

I never said I am placid and calm. Most people see me, as such. But I am honestly, highly reactive. And I can snap as easily when hit close to matters personal to me. And there will be a haul of people telling us not to be reactive, right? Let that be their choice.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with being reactive over issues that hit close to you. When you feel strongly for something, it will naturally produce and have reactions. So react, if you must. As a teacher of young children, we are encouraged to help our children express their emotions. More importantly, we always tell children to own their emotions. Nothing is wrong with having feelings over something or someone.  It may be joy, sadness or anger. All is not wrong in its own way. It is your emotion, your feelings and not anyone else’s. No one can invalidate that.

Of course, there are acceptable and not acceptable ways to express it, as dictated by standards and norms. I don’t claim to be a goody-too-shoe. I will flare up when I am angered. That is me, being real. And sometimes, it is the only way you can have people know how far they can go. It is the only way they will listen.

Sometimes, being too welcoming and accommodating can be interpreted as submission and acceptance. There is just a fine line for fair play. People will have to be consistent. It is irrational of sort to complain on only one person for a similar behaviour displayed by several. Likewise, it is questionable to agree to the same thing when presented by one person and negate when coming from another. Inconsistency and unfair play is manifestation of disrespect.

Still, we’ve got all those people who will question our parenting because they think they are any better. There are those judging you for the pace of your life’s timeline like they have all the details of it in a blueprint. Good Lord! Isn’t it lucky of them to know, right? Life, alone, is more than a five-ball juggling act on its own, and motherhood; it’s more than one entire circus altogether.

Being me, raw as it can be, I fussed. I fumed. I was reactive. And now, I am determined to choose for it to DISCONTINUE and for them, not to get quite comfortable. I know, it is OK to wave the red flag (whether they agree or not). It is my choice.

So, I start this year with: Don’t let anyone get comfortable with disrespecting you. It is ALL RIGHT to draw the line. Respect yourself enough to own your emotions and not let other people tell you it is invalid. Respect yourself enough to say they cannot put you down. Respect yourself enough to know it is okay not to be okay. Respect yourself enough to stop, shove and distant yourself from people who do not celebrate you. Respect yourself enough to keep your sanity for better use than be affected by other people’s opinions.

As my instagram post wrote: “Know that God is all-knowing. If God trust you, who are you to doubt yourself?” In the same light, you are they to do so either?

Don’t let anyone get comfortable with disrespecting you. They may not see you as someone of higher or equal stature. But you are neither are you too low.