Boundaries: It can be such a loaded word filled with all kinds of emotions.
Walls keep everybody out.
Boundaries teach people where the door is. They tell others how you want to be treated.
Boundaries are the greatest example of love – love of others but more importantly love of self.
They allow you to be yourself rather than an extension of someone else or who someone else wants you to be..
Lessons and boundaries: A story
Today I had a conversation with someone that I love so damn much. And in that conversation I HEARD, “When you do _____ it makes me uncomfortable so you shouldn’t do that.”
This brought up so much for me.
* I felt like I was being asked to filter, change and censor myself in order to make those I care about more comfortable.
* I felt like I couldn’t speak my truth or my mind because I might offend someone
* And at the deepest layer I felt like I needed to do/ be/ act in a certain way to receive love
* And oh the RAGE I felt. Instantaneous, big, on fire RAGE.
Anger is one of the clearest signals that a boundary has been crossed. So I listened to my anger. I was patient with my anger. I felt my anger. And then…..
I did what I teach my clients to do….have a conversation and use your voice!
I shared how our conversation impacted me and what I was feeling. In that conversation I had a lesson- that sometimes we hear things through our own filters and not necessarily how the person intended. Having this conversation allowed the other person to clarify and explain what they meant more in depth and a new level of understanding was reached. They were coming from a place of offering feedback and wanting to protect me.
I was still able to set a boundary and while that boundary ended up being different than I originally intended at the beginning of our conversation I learned so much about myself through this experience.
* I learned that I can speak up for myself even when it feels challenging.
* I learned that through dialogue deeper levels of understanding and compassion can happen
* I learned that it is through our interactions with others that we become aware of what our wounds are and where our opportunities of growth lie
Speaking up can be so hard but just like anything worthwhile it gets easier with time and practice. That sounds awesome, right? But HOW do you go about setting a boundary when you’ve maybe never done that before….
1. Be clear about what you want
2. Be direct and don’t apologize for your needs
3. Resistance can happen – don’t let it deter you. (You are NOT responsible for for how others react to your boundaries)
4. Setting boundaries is an on-going process
5. Boundaries are for your own wellbeing, not to control others
Please remember that you are not mean, selfish, ungrateful or unloving for having and expressing your boundaries.
You deserve to experience and feel all of the love and peace that comes from boundaries.
Have you ever had someone ask you to stop doing something because it made THEM uncomfortable? Maybe it was someone that you really love and respect. Maybe it was someone you hold close to your heart. It can be a lot easier to tell someone outside of your close bubble to take a hike and worry about themselves. Sometimes it’s harder to maintain boundaries and express feelings with those you love and cherish. But these are the most important boundaries to maintain BECAUSE you love them
I see you.