My life has grown increasingly better as I’ve continued to establish more and more boundaries that serve me and the highest good.
Now, what on earth does that look like?!
….Is what you may very well be thinking as I share the above loaded statement. And actually, it might take this whole blog to break it down. However, it is the utter truth behind my peaceful state of being, and a topic that I believe is important to elaborate on.
First off, what do I mean by boundary? A boundary can be defined as a definite, declared decision, made by your inner character, not to engage in something as a rule in your life – and we all have them, in every area of our life. If we’re not aware of our boundaries that means they are probably A. pretty far extended boundaries and B. allowing us to have nonsense in our lives that really isn’t desired.
So friends, it’s time to bring in the awareness and re-create boundaries that will best serve our experience.
Establishing healthy boundaries is going to allow you to focus more on what you do want, like and trust to have in your life, be that in; relationships, workspace, your diet and schedule of time. Example; because I have clear boundaries I am surrounded by fully supportive, like-minded, fun and entreprenuial friends that I can’t get enough of. The friends who use substances more frequently then I do, negative beliefs, and don’t feel fulfilled by their lives are on the “other side” of my boundary.
Now let me pause, because that above statement may sound judgemental of those whom I don’t include within my boundary – but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And I think its often the reason why people don’t establish or follow through on said boundaries because they don’t want to exclude loved ones from their life. Believe me – I get that. Allow me to give you another personal example.
Part of my story is being raised by an alcoholic. My mothers coping mechanism she most often chose was alcohol which only fed her negative beliefs, then thoughts and actions and as you can imagine, or I imagine many of you reading this have experienced – it had a ripple effect into my life beyond childhood. So years after I became a “legal adult” I decided to start learning and expanding into healthier and more effective ways to cope with the story that I had been telling for so long, so that way I could create a new, more self serving one.
This is when the boundaries really started rolling in. One of the most impactful ones was the “tough love” boundary I established between my mom and I. I had been years into different modes of therapy and self development and yet her behavior (even though our encounters were brief and often only via text message) would still trigger me and I would resort to the mindset, and behavior of my 13 year old self when the original trauma began. Sooo. I made a tough call and told her that I was going to block her number. I told her that I loved her, but that I was doing a lot of work on myself and could no longer allow myself to be triggered by her behaviors. And if she wasn’t going to respect my request of not speaking to me the way she was, well then my next boundary was to block her number for awhile.
And you know what – I did. For over six months. In that time I would send her greeting cards, and send her my love. Yes, I was establishing a boundary of how I wanted to be treated, what I would and wouldn’t tolerate, as well as a boundary of safe space to utilize all the tools I was learning.
I wasn’t wanting to shame her, or make her feel bad for who she was even if that’s a person who uses substance to cope. I have zero room to judge anyone for how they cope, and actually setting the boundary and giving myself space cemented that fact even deeper to the point I was able to reach such a profound level of forgiveness for my mom and all the stories that led up to now. I realized those stories were actually full of judgement, and that as long as I had a healthy boundary set up, I could actually love her, and enjoy her just as she is.
And I do. And yes I unblocked her number. The funny thing is we don’t talk anymore or less then we did before I went on a sort of haitus. But I do genuinely enjoy when I do talk to her or see her AND she now respects my communication boundary by no longer using abusive and manipulative tactics.
It was the true definition of a win win situation.
I realize this is a bit of a dramatic example, but I also know that most people have a loved one who suffers from substance addiction… and I know we all suffer from a lack of forgiveness. And being able to set healthy boundaries can have huge impact on both of those situations, as well as the rest of your life.
Thank you for reading. I welcome any comments and/or questions below.