I remember a time when I lived without boundaries, without knowing that I could protect myself and that I actually had a right to do so.
I spent so many years of my life thinking that everything was my fault. If someone got mad at me I immediately took it personally and blamed myself for doing whatever angered them.
My body felt so heavy and my mind was in a constant state of trying to figure out how to make everything alright with everybody!!
Thank goodness that time is behind me and I now know what boundaries are, how to set them and that they are moveable if circumstances change.
What are boundaries?
I love this definition from the book, Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances — Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions — Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others — Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God’s will from our own.
What do boundaries do?
When you set strong and appropriate boundaries, you help other people know how to treat you. You teach them what is ok and what is not ok to do and say around you.
Boundaries help us handle challenging situations by letting us know if everything feels right and we can simply move on or if things are not okay with us — we then need to take action.
When a boundary gets crossed, it is our alarm system warning us that our bodies, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have been treated in an inappropriate manner.
How to set boundaries
An Internal boundary — All boundaries start with setting a boundary inside of myself, I call it an internal boundary.
I do this by breathing deeply into my belly and exhaling a “haaaaa” breath out of my mouth. This clears my power center.
I then place my left (represents the feminine internal self) hand on my belly and state the boundary to myself. For example, with my friend, it was, “Remember she is hurting and that is not your fault. An External boundary — Once I’m solid with my internal boundary, I’m ready to establish a boundary outside of myself. I call it an external boundary.
I do this by inhaling deeply into my belly and exhaling a “haaaa” breath out of my mouth. This clears my power center.
I bring my left hand on my belly and take my right (represents the masculine external self) hand and point it out toward the person I’m setting a boundary with and say what I need to say, maybe something like this, “I notice ____ and that upsets me. Would you be willing to stop that behavior?” Then I listen.
Remember, not all people are safe to be around
Create some distance and love that person from afar when a boundary isn’t honored.
When I do get triggered boundary-setting keeps me safe without having to armor up in an attempt to stay safe.
Check out the Ageless IT Band Release Movement Practice to take off your armor and set boundaries instead.
If you need help setting boundaries sign up for a FREE health assessment call with Michelle today by clicking on the link!
What boundary do your need to set? Let us know in the comments section below