As we navigate our healing journeys, we come across certain obstacles (cycles, patterns, programs) that present themselves in the forms of situations, relationships, and/or conversations. If you are on the path of self actualization, you know exactly what I am speaking of here. Over the years that I have been on my own journey, the topic of boundaries has come forward again and again, in a multitude of ways. Boundaries have been an abstract concept for me in the past, since my family of origin was unconscious and uneducated in the ways of healthy relating/functional family dynamics--so, I have learned from scratch. In this article I am going to share some pieces of wisdom I have gleaned from research, conscious relating, and channeled downloads.
If you come from a family where your personal boundaries were not honored (or one/both of your parents' boundaries were not honored), your parents had blurred lines of expectations for you or each other, they did not honor their own boundaries (maybe by overcommitting or compromising themselves with you or others), etc., then you may have an ungrounded understanding of/confusion around your own boundaries. This can cause an legion of issues in daily life. The reason why boundaries are so important is because they come into play within every facet of our lives: social, professional, personal, relational, physical, etc. If we are not respecting our own boundaries, they will not be respected by others, and it will cause us suffering.
Boundaries are the lines drawn that keep us functioning at optimal health. An example of physical boundaries may be integrating days of rest into our workout schedule so that our muscles have sufficient time to recover. Energetic boundaries may look like limiting the amount of time we spend with others or on tasks, so that we have sufficient energy for our own needs to be met. Spiritual boundaries may look like establishing protection before beginning a healing. The list goes on and on. If our boundaries are not clear or set in place, we are susceptible to being drained, taken advantage of, or hurt in one way or another. Many of us who face the challenge of establishing and putting action behind our boundaries, may make the mistake of thinking that someone or something outside of ourselves is stealing our power unjustly from us--however, in truth, no one can do anything to us or take anything from us without our consent. It is commonly expressed that we teach others how to treat us. It is vital to recognize this truth. If we are suffering in relationship, it is because we are choosing to do something, be someone, or say something that is not actually authentic to us. Accepting our personal responsibility for the way things are going in our world is the most crucial step in alleviating our suffering and bringing harmony into our lives.
Learning how to set boundaries is simple: stop doing what you do not want to do, saying what you do not want to say, or being who you do not want to be, and set the expectation for those around you to honor that. Overextension happens when we continue to do even though our minds, bodies, and/or souls are begging us to just be. There are many reasons why we might make the choice to ignore ourselves (dishonor our own boundaries): we believe we must earn love, we believe we must accomplish tasks to earn the right to be alive, we believe we must sacrifice ourselves to be worthy of what we are seeking. This is a false belief system--our birthright is to be loved unconditionally, life is a gift given to us, and it is in honoring ourselves that we attract what we truly desire. These are subconscious programs/beliefs that cause us to cross our own boundaries (whether or not we are aware of them) and create suffering in our lives. The answer here is to become aware of your belief system--not what you want to believe, but what you truly believe about yourself and your life, how you interact in the world, at your roots. Some steps you can take in this is to ask yourself key questions: do I feel safe to be and relax into love/relationship/friendship? Do I feel safe to express my needs to my loved ones? Do I feel safe to do what I want in the midst of another wanting me to do something else? Once you have gotten to your roots, you can get clear on what your boundaries are.
One way to learn your boundaries is to pay attention to your emotions. When you feel frustrated, drained, or angry, it is a signal that your boundaries have been crossed and an opportunity for you to evaluate your choices or how you are being treated to see if t is in alignment with your personal needs/desires. Another way to get clear on your boundaries is to ask yourself, "if I say yes to this person, situation, or thing, am I saying no to myself?" If you have had a hard time recognizing what your boundaries are, this question is a game changer. Diving into what your own personal NO's are and what your own personal YES's are is the best way to dismantle the parts of your life that are not serving your highest good and create what you do want to experience. After all, it is your life. Why not live it the way you desire within your own heart?
The most important step in this process is to put action behind your intentions. Remember, NO is a complete sentence. The best way to reprogram your belief system is to act in accordance to the program you are trying to install, so to speak. It is challenging because in a sense, it goes against your nature. However, your true nature is to trust and honor yourself, so although it takes work, it is worth getting home to you. To accomplish this, it is important to communicate with your trusted loved ones so that they can support you. Having a conversation around what you have struggled with and what you would like to see in your life is beneficial not only because it helps those around you to treat you with the respect you need, but also because it encourages them to do the same. This creates a community of optimal health and functionality! It starts with us--we create change in the world by enforcing change within ourselves. We live in a Universe where the Micro reflects the Macro, so let us use it to our advantage.
We all have our challenges in life. To live our best, highest quality lives, we must take responsibility for how we navigate them and have clear, firm boundaries for ourselves. For us to make fully informed and consensual choices that shape our reality, we must know why we are doing what we are doing and how it impacts us. To create our most desired world, we must put inspired action into our decisions. This is a call for self honor, self trust, and ultimately, self love. It is time to choose you.