boundaries part t w o

the first thing that allowed my strained relationships to blossom into healthy partnerships was by setting boundaries. setting boundaries and learning self-trust can be stressful and scary, especially if you are a people pleaser like i was. when you set boundaries, not everyone is going to be hip to it and it could seriously disrupt some relationships and end others. when you set boundaries you may loose friends, but when you do not set boundaries you will loose yourself. and if you have to loose yourself in order to keep friends, are those your friends? without boundaries i cannot see my full value. nevertheless, here are the steps that i took in order to honor myself and save my relationships.

share your truth

when i first started making renovations within my friendships, i initially just wanted to cut off everyone because i was so fucking mad. but then i realized that doing so would just perpetuate the issue that got us here to begin with. i had to share my truth, and stand in it. i also had to take responsibility for the role that i played in allowing for things to get to the breaking point that they did, and this added a bit more room for my relationships to endure, as long as the other was willing to adjust to the changes i was making.

often times i would be afraid that my insecurities were interpreting reality and that what i felt was wrong, and sometimes that is true, but what is also true is that everyone is human and everyone has an ego and flaws and therefore there is a high probability that what you are feeling IS in fact, the fucking truth.

a risky factor in sharing your truth is that if you stand firmly by it you are inviting conflict into your life and you might watch a friend or a lover walk out of your life. this means that a major part of sharing your truth means that you need to have cultivated your own source of joy.

own your personal space

i am a VERY independent person. a true scorpio. i have always been since i was very, very young. my mom told me from a young age that my message to her was ‘i’ll let you know when i need you, but until then just assume that i got this’.

even so i learned recently that my present joy was being upheld by artificial high’s awaiting to be achieved in the future. my ability to be content and emotionally stable while alone, was sustained by an illusion.

let me elaborate. not only am i firefly independent but i am also achievement driven. i’ve always been since a very young age and as i am growing into a full blown adult woman i have become a very ambitious relentlessly-chases-her-goals type of individual. so much so that i am approaching the end of my bucket list. crazy right? i’m 26 and at the end of my bucket list, right now. but as i approach its end, i approach it slightly disillusioned.

the high that i was chasing, it was not at the top of the man made latter that i created. there is this song by an underground rapper who’s name that i losses me at the moment. but basically in the song he tells the story of a man who creates a man made ladder, climbs up to the top of it and once he finally reaches the top he hangs himself. you know, i wouldn’t say that my disillusionment was that great. to be sure, chasing my goals has created a greater capacity within me for fulfillment, self-confidence and has increased the overall richness and fullness of my life and perspective of it. but the thing i was really searching for to complete me was purpose. that’s the completion cap i was searching for. after finally living in my identity and being who God created me to be, the last thing—the cap—i needed was the sentiment of the quote ‘you don’t need to find your purpose, you just need to live life purposefully’. for me it was, “live in your purpose and then live life purposefully”.

it is when we really press into those hard, subtle and subconscious questions such as ‘how do i live purposeful life’, answer them for ourselves and then live our lives within those self-answered questions that we find completion.

when we trust ourselves enough to give and follow our own advise, that’s when we’ve arrived. we look for advise from and admire so many people that we don’t even know, yet why worship them when we can worship the God that created them? and even then, we come from the same source of magic, we’ve got the same father, what would he give to them that we would perceive that he has withheld from us? what answers have they got that we do not have the capacity to find for ourselves.

everything we need is in God who lives in us. we have to trust ourselves enough to create a life that’s worth living, and to know that no matter who comes in and out of our lives that we will be just fine.

if you don’t like to be alone, you’ll put up with virtually anything in order to not be in your own company. if you have not found your own source of joy, you will tolerate bad company because anything is better than being with yourself.

Jesus and the Buddha wrestled in the wilderness alone for YEARS, while trying to understand the condition of their hearts. learning how to be alone can be taxing and very hard, but to avoid it is simply prolonging the inevitable. there are certain ailments that we merely cannot see and we have to experience pain in order to fully reach their root. but work with what you’ve got, find your center based on who you are now, and as long as you pursue the truth it will send you what ever you need to find your center.

set boundaries

its important to always have a why and a reason for what we do in life. it’s important to know the purpose and reasoning of your relationships. my reasons are for mutual emotional support, for laughter, good times and shared memories. it is equally important to know your bottom lines, which boundaries cannot be crossed in order for the relationship to be maintained. for me my bottom lines are 1. do not tell my secrets 2. do not make me uncomfortable for making my own choices that you may or may not agree with 3. be kind and supportive 4. have integrity 5. do not try and change who i am. i like to drop f bombs and my spirituality is constantly evolving. if that over steps your boundaries then you already know what to do, but if you choose to stay in relationship with me, accept me as is.

these are my five pillars of trust. if i can’t trust you then we can not be friends.

that’s all folks

amber b

boundaries, part o n e

this weekend my momma and I went to watch the movie girls trip together. [ spoiler alert ] it is a tale of four women who developed a strong bond of sisterhood during college and maintained those bonds post grad, but after years of an accumulation of words left unsaid and hurt feelings left unresolved, the conflict left unattended inevitably festered and became disease and broke those initially tight bonds. after five years passed of the friends not talking to one another, the girls decide to go on a girls trip to reconnect. this is the context of the movie [ end of spoiler ]

the beauty of their sisterhood was in their constant banter, sarcasm and jokes, loyalty, sticking up for one another and the emotional support. the ugly parts of their sisterhood were the distrust, the fear, the insecurity, the boundary over-stepping and the ego. they were the moments that did not inflict instantly gratifying emotions and the inevitable conflict that shines a light on the broken parts of ourselves that are disallowing our relationships to be as intimate as they potentially could be. despite the gold that was hidden underneath the ugly, the ugly was still plain ol’ fuckin ugly.

in the face of insecurity and ego, relationships are so frail. you meet acquaintances that you adore and then mutually pursue a friendship because you like one another. Once you’ve reached that friendship faze, there are so many nuances that can get in the way of simply having and innocent friendship: vulnerability, support, laughter and shared time. sometimes it is the need to feel better than others that disallows us to show ourself fully, scales and all. Maybe boundaries aren’t being respected and this makes us feel unseen by our friends.

I reached a friendship-crossroads a bit ago. in the past i had tons of friendships and would rarely complain about any shortcomings. this is because i was too busy blaming myself for any source of tension and was a people pleaser with no boundaries, child i let everything slide. but—as i often say on this blog—because this friendship foundation was not made of 100% truth it inevitably crumbled.

after years of neglecting my wants and needs in relationships, one day i looked up and found a very angry person. i was angry at literally everyone—and secretly myself as well—for years of overstepping my boundaries. it wasn’t about my inability to speak up; i had in the past and many of these friends (many of whom are now only acquaintances or less) would fail to take responsibility for their actions or instead let their ego lead even more and pointed the finger back at me. child.

once i finally accepted how out of things had gotten, i began to slowly make changes: