Boundary setting has a lot of moving pieces and parts and is complex. I would say that in raising children and in bringing health and wellness to adults and our relationships, knowing what boundaries are and learning to set boundaries with compassion and assertiveness is key.
Bringing conscious awareness and the idea of responsibility and choice to the topic of boundary setting is also critical. When we are unclear or rely on others for our limits and lines, we are taking a giant step towards disempowerment and perhaps handing over a piece of our integrity.
By definition, boundaries are the clear limits we set with others and with ourselves to protect us from the negative while allowing the good stuff to flow in. It is self-care at its core. It is a filter that supports us in aligning our actions and our words with who we are at our healthiest and most authentic.
Boundary lines act as our guiding compass keeping us aligned with our integrity, our identity, and our true self. Your boundaries help you to define and see more clearly what matters and what may no longer be serving you and your continued growth.
We are in control of our boundary lines. No one else is in charge: despite what we say to ourselves to excuse and to defend our actions or the actions of others.
With clarity and honesty ask yourself some questions:
*Is this action helping me or hurting me?
*Is this aligned to my true goals, to my beliefs and to my deeply held values?
*Am I resisting clear communication, despite my beliefs, because I am fearful of something?
*Am I afraid of standing for myself or fearful of the reaction?
* Is this fear rooted in actual reality?
*Do I really need further communication with this individual?
Understanding what something is NOT, often helps us in understanding what something IS.
A boundary is not blaming others or denying that something is actually happening.
Setting boundaries is not selfish. It is not a high wall that does not allow anyone in.
Clearly articulating your line does not include hiding out alone. It is not pretending that you are strong and independent and do not need support from trusted others.
It is not helping others at all costs. It is not being on the constant look out for how to “fix” others.
A boundary IS clearly aligned with your integrity, your needs and wants, and the reputation you have with yourself. It is your guiding compass that keeps you on the path to your goals.
Holding your lines with compassionate assertiveness allows you to stay honest with yourself.
It is possible to set boundaries with wisdom and compassion and rebuild what you previously may think had been lost forever.
Where do we draw our line with others to align our actions with our core beliefs? The choices we make in our interactions, in the end, determine who we are.
Instinct is a red flag that many times will momentarily wake us up from our slumber. It is a signal to quiet the mind and to listen closer. Boundaries, however, require conscious self-awareness. It is knowing ourselves intimately and being able to honestly look at both the light and the dark sides of ourselves and our motivations.
Setting boundaries also requires assertiveness. That is another critical topic for another day.