Updated: Sep 11, 2020
THE ENORMITY OF THE ROLE OF BOUNDARIES IN THE CONTEXT OF SELF-LOVE CANNOT BE UNDERSCORED ENOUGH.
As a foundational cornerstone of feeling safe, healthy, and positively regarded in the world around you, boundaries are critical. They are at the core of creating and maintaining healthy relationships. In particular, Self-Love, the relationship with yourself, is almost entirely dependent on the creation and maintenance of healthy boundaries.
I encourage you to give more time and space for the exploration of Boundaries.
Consider these questions:
Do you find yourself taken for granted often?
Are you feeling harried and spread too thin?
Do you have a difficult time saying “no” because of fear, rejection, and/or confrontation?
Do you feel responsible for your partner's, friends, relatives, or children's happiness?
You allow others to make decisions for you, instead of expressing what it is that you really want.
Do you either trust no one; or conversely, do you trust Everyone?
Do you feel as if your voice is drowned out in carefully orchestrated chaos?
Are your best efforts and highest intentions just disregarded by others?
Are you spoken down to too often?
Have you lost the energy to advocate for yourself?
Do you feel as though time is constantly slipping through your fingers?
Do you find yourself stopping yourself from trying new experiences?
Are you at a loss for how to respond when someone is saying something that makes you uncomfortable, whether it’s about you or somebody else?
If you answered "yes" to any of these, then you may benefit greatly from spending more time assessing your boundaries and coming up with a plan of action to cultivate healthy boundaries. There are 7 types of boundaries: [That I know of]
To become clearer about your boundaries, I'd lie to propose a journal exercise:
List these 7 boundaries down on 2 separate pieces of paper For the next week, document on one page how you PERSONALLY cross your own boundaries in each of these 7 areas. On the second page, document how you allow OTHERS to cross each of these 7 boundaries. Example (Personal): I got upset that my children had not performed their chores. I crossed my own emotional and social and spiritual boundaries by getting very angry and blowing up with my children, yelling at them and berating them instead of applying the agreements between us for situations where they've not performed their chores. Example (Others): My friend uses my clothing without asking me. She crosses my physical boundary by coming into my space, and she crosses my material boundary by taking my things when I am not home. Now that you know HOW your boundaries are being crossed, you better understand WHAT you want and/or need as your boundaries. With this in mind, you will have a better understanding of what the gap is between what they presently are and what you want them to be. At this point, without worrying about how to set your boundaries in place, what does it feel like to have more clarity about:
Who you are as a person?
What drains or triggers you most?
What is happening in your world that is unacceptable and needs to change?
What rules you have in place that are not serving you?
What is possible for you with new, ideal boundaries?
Some Other Thoughts to Consider:
What people/things would I leave behind if there was no negative reaction or painful experience?
What is my worst fear about saying "no"?
If I am allowing behavior that is not representative of my boundaries, what is this saying about me?
Do my relationships make me feel good about myself?
What’s working in my life, and what isn’t?
Behaviors that I will never again tolerate are …
Do I have enough courage to love myself even when it means that I may disappoint others?
What do I need to do to become comfortable setting boundaries?
How are you going to address these issues in a way that is firm, respectful, and in alignment with your core values and your sense of who you are and who you want to be?
Remember, this is a practice and to be gentle with yourself, as things aren't perfect and you have the power to set these boundaries in a healthy way for yourself and others in your life. When you’ve done this exercise, let me know what you discover and what you decide. What has opened up for you from allowing yourself to create healthy boundaries?