a boundary is an act of self-compassion.
a boundary is when a self-loving individual
draws an emotional line in the sand that
guards their capacity to:
hear their truth/intuition
take care of themselves
and honor exactly how they feel and not
how their ‘supposed’ to feel in order to please
other people and not have to deal with their baggage.
many people don’t even know what the fuck a boundary is because you’re so used to putting other peoples opinions above your own. or maybe you’ve advanced to a place where you’re able to hear your truth and then speak it most of the time but you often find yourself either upset with yourself because you didn’t speak your truth or feeling guilty because you did.
boundaries are so multi-layered and have so many pre-requisites to effectively setting them.
below are a few of the pre-requisites to figuring out what your boundaries are, how to communicate them to others and how to reduce feelings of guilt when you do set them.
disclaimer: you’re boundaries are whatever you say they are. YOU qualify them. don’t look externally for confirmation look within.
so often as women we our encouraged to extend our understanding towards others without regard to our emotional needs. in order to be considered acceptable to society we are told to take on a mother-fucking teresa complex and give our empathy and our compassion to others and totally forget ourselves. we are told to be meek and demure and accommodating in order to get people to like us, as if external likability is our greatest achievement in life.
i grew up in a conservative christian household, once i got into college i strayed away and then came back to the faith more conservative than ever. during this time period and within this community of believers that i associated with the school of thinking that we all embodied was that we were all wretched sinners who were inherently wrong and because of this wrongness we owed it to God to always assume our intentions were bad and to put others before ourselves because we thought of ourselves WAY too much.
we were encouraged to always go above and beyond to serve others and give of ourselves without regard to our emotional limitations and financial limitations. during this time period i also dated someone who blamed every conflict we had on me. we were young as hell so the conflict was rampant and often occurring. because of a lack of boundaries, self-confidence and a whole bunch of other shit, the idea that every problem was of my creating was ingrained into my mind within the context of a romantic relationship for a total of three years.
an experience that i deeply regret. each of these experiences—along with growing up in a household with a penchant for guilt tripping—developed within in me a psychological complex that i am inherently wrong which has made learning self-compassion a total mind fuck—but never the less, slowly but surely a game changer.
self-compassion is an act of treating yourself like a good friend. so many of us have this harsh inner critic in our minds telling us that we are not enough. it scrutinizes everything that we say and do, its so harsh when we make an understandable misjudgment. it says ‘you’re so dumb why did you do that?’ self-compassion means that you give YOUR DAMN SELF the benefit of the doubt when making choices.
when you give yourself the benefit of the doubt you have to understand and be okay with the fact that some people are not going to agree with your view and thats ok. when you respect that you are going to be self-compassionate even though someone else is not going to take on your view and when you do not brush away that emotional line that you have drawn in the sand you are respecting your boundaries and creating room in your life to love and nurture yourself and your self-love.
when you’re self-compassionate you don’t feed the harsh critic or the self-doubt monster but instead treat yourself like a good friend and say ‘ [insert name here] i love you and am so proud of who you are, you made that decision because you were coming from a good place, you are a good person, you are talented and worthy of love, so go on about your day with a clear concious because your deserve the benefit of the doubt’ or “[insert name here] i know you made a mistake but guess what? everyone does. this miscalculation is not a set back but a learning experience. you still deserve your own love even if your action was misguided. learn the lesson forgive yourself and then do something nice for yourself to establish this new beginning that is about to take place’.
also, go back into your history and find out where that critical voice comes from and honor your wound and come to terms with it in a way that empowers you.
you have power
often times we fail to set boundaries for ourselves for others to respect because we don’t even know that we have power.
you have power. period. no matter what position you’re in.
whether you’re the consumer, the borrower, the intern, the sublet, the weaker vessel, the one who’s made the miscalculation, the employee, the rookie. you have power. you have a right to be treated with dignity, care and respect. you do not have to default to doing shit that you don’t like because you are not in the predominant position of power momentarily. you still get to have boundaries.
this comes from an internal knowing that every relationship is mutually beneficial and that no matter what goes down in life, it will go on and you’ll be fine.
it is inevitable for us all that one day we will become desperate for help from the hands that served us once upon a time. this isn’t because of karma, this is because we ALL have value and we ALL have something to offer others. but people who exploit their power fail to realize that and miss out because of it.
this doesn’t mean that you’re not contrite when you make a mistake or grateful when someone helps you, no. this means that thank you and sorry are enough. you did not force that someone to help you, that was their decision that they made all by themselves so them acting like they can treat you poorly is them overstepping a boundary and bad behavior on their part. additionally if were saying sorry and moving on you don’t get to drag me through the mud and mistreat me.
don’t be a passenger
this is an extension of the last point, but this one calls for proactivity. many of us just want to hop into someone else’s abundance instead of find ourselves and create our own to share with someone else who’s also found their own abundance. you want to simply be a passenger instead of a co-pilot. this habit causes us to not even think about boundaries, all your thinking about is how to gain this persons approval and keep them in your life.
or contrarily, have you ever dated someone who you loved, shared the same values with, wanted the same things out of life, we’re emotionally compatible with, but still experience a high level of doubt with or feared long-term commitment? its because you’re being a passenger. there is someone that you need to be to yourself that you still have yet to be. you want to find a relationship that stops you from having to show up for yourself and that relationship is nonexistent.
but nevertheless you break up with people over and over again searching for that person that stops you from having to be the person you’ve always needed to be to yourself and go from relationship to relationship. that ‘person’ you’re searching for is what is called a driver and in a relationship with a driver everything is on their terms and there is no room for you, your feelings, your perspective, your fears, your nothing. ultimately, all you can ask for in life is a co-pilot partner that you like who wants the same things out of life as you and is actively striving towards those things.
you are the driver of your own life and a co-pilot in relationships. setting healthy boundaries requires that we know who we are and what we want and need in relationships.
this passage was all about maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves, the next will be on how to respect other people boundaries and how this empowers us, too.
here are some related and helpful articles on boundaries: