Having healthy boundaries will transform your life
How are you?
Remember – I am asking you for real.
Take a deep breath, listen inwards and answer that question and hear your own answer.
What’s up with your boundaries?
Yes, boundaries – that old nut. A nut that I quite honestly have not cracked fully myself. I am on my way though.
I think that in some ways I have been boundary-less in many situations in my life and therefore it has been a challenge to understand how I create good boundaries, without them being enforced with aggression.
I remember at school, we must have been around 14 – 15 years old, pimply faced and with newly blossomed breasts. The boys in the class had started to really notice girls and it seemed that the only way they dared to approach us was by teasing and also, unfortunately, by slapping our breasts (!!! Yeah I know !!!). They slapped my breasts only once (and boy did that hurt), and never again. I enforced that boundary with a fierceness that came from deep inside of me. This was unacceptable behaviour for me and I was not scared to show it. Other girls around me giggled nervously and ran away from the guys when it happened, this of course gave way to a chase, and thus this behaviour continued, and continued.
I wonder what we as women are taught about boundaries when we are girls? Thinking about the above scenario I can guess that many adults would have responded to any complaint (not that anyone did complain to an adult) that boys will be boys, meaning girls should just shrug their shoulders and accept things as they were.
Boundaries is of course a huge subject and I am only scratching the surface here. I guess the point I am wanting to make is that these early signals from our environment shape us and our own behaviour and our self-worth.
Brené Brown writes in her book Rising Strong that “boundaries are simply our list of what’s OK and what is not OK.” We usually know in our gut if our boundaries are being violated or if we have not been brave enough to set boundaries and following them through in our actions. Fear of judgement and losing others approval can most certainly stand in the way of us having boundaries.
And that link between self-worth, boundaries and how others treat us (or how we let others treat us) is certainly an important and interesting one.
I am currently writing a longer piece on boundaries and self-care. I’ll let you know when that is finished.
Until next time–know that creating healthy boundaries open up new possibilities in your life, and suddenly that ‘free’ time that you dream of having is within reach.