Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Importance of Boundaries

Do you really know where you end and begin? Do you often feel like you are spread too thin? And are other people more important to you than you?
This was certainly the case for me. Years ago I had to admit I had boundaries issues after becoming aware of a glaring, consistent pattern that included being stolen from, lied to, cheated on and more. I was not taking care of me, nor was I speaking up on my behalf. I ended up depleted, sick, broke and very depressed.

A friend of mine said “Tammi you teach people how to treat you.” This was startling, but started to make sense as I really thought about it. I wasn’t teaching people to treat me well, because I didn’t treat me well; I did not believe in my value, and therefore was not valued.

I was a people pleaser and cared more about other people’s opinions, desires and well-being than my own. I finally realized, if I wanted life to be different, I was going to have to be different. This included figuring out who I was, liking myself, loving myself and taking care of myself. This also meant taking responsibility to cultivate, claim and implement, clear, healthy boundaries.

A lack of boundaries can make life challenging, and even dangerous if one contorts too much, isn’t clear in who they are, doesn’t know their value, and does not speak up on their behalf.

We all know boundaries in our physical world are important:  fences, walls, property lines, streets, sidewalks and cliffs let us know where we should and should not be. Respecting boundaries keeps us safe, protected and out of harm’s way.

We see the boundaries of our physical bodies with our skin. Our skin is our largest organ and serves to protect us from toxins outside of ourselves. At a cellular level, our biology has the innate wisdom to distinguish between things that are dangerous and things that are life-enhancing.

Though we can’t see boundaries in the realm of our energy and emotions, they are just as important. There are some situations and people that are great for us, some that are good for us, and others that are bad for us.  There are people who deplete us and others who replenish us. It is important to be able to discern the difference and place ourselves in the company of uplifting people and positive settings.

In relationships, boundaries prevent us from taking over-responsibility, or under-responsibility. We let others be who and where they are  and allow them the dignity of their process (even if it doesn't look very dignified to us). The propensity to enable, rescue, or go into "fix it" mode is diminished. Healthy boundaries help us discern the difference between empowering others and enabling them. Boundaries also protect us from picking up on other people’s physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual pain.

If we do not have boundaries we are like a sponge, constantly absorbing all that is going on around us. 

If we were not raised in a family that taught and exemplified good boundaries, cultivating them may not easy or innate, but something that IS possible - once become aware of their  importance, and once it becomes our intention.

Here are a few helpful exercises that can support you in claiming,defining and refining your boundaries. (For additional insight and power, write down your answers in a journal or notebook.)

1        1. Set your intentions. You can write it down and then perhaps say out loud something like “I am now setting my intention to create clear healthy boundaries.” What comes forward and what does this feel like as you imagine this and claim this for yourself?

2        2. Consider this question “What do I need to do to claim my boundaries, fill my own gas tank and take good care of me.”  You can go deeper by addressing this question on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

3        3. Now imagine drawing a circle of light around yourself. Anytime you feel uncomfortable, afraid, ungrounded or on the verge  of saying yes before checking in, pull your energy back, ground yourself, and imagine a circle of light surrounding and protecting you. What does it feel like to be in this safe bubble of light? 

4        4. Ask yourself now (and frequently) what really honors me now? Listen deeply and follow the wisdom of your inner voice.

5        5. When someone asks you to do something, give yourself time. No more involuntary “knee jerk” responses. Do not feel pressure to commit to anything immediately. A phrase that helped me (and still does) is “Thank you for thinking of me, let me spend some time with this and get back to you.”  This is a healthy boundary, and often a very self-honoring choice.  So, how does this feel as you practice it? It may be uncomfortable at first, but can support you in becoming better friends with yourself.

6        6. Listen frequently to my Healthy Boundaries Guided Mediation. If you do not have it, email me at tammibphd@gmail.com requesting it and I will email it over to you. 
      If you would like more boundary exercises to help support you in taking personal responsibility in communication, email me and I will send you chapter and exercises I outline in my book Manifesting Love From the Inside Out.
The bottom line is, without healthy boundaries you cannot give the best of yourself to others. You will feel depleted, unsafe, ungrounded and/or imbalanced.  Without clear boundaries, you will also likely experience a great deal of drama, fear, and confusion in your life.

Boundaries are vital to help us to stay in the eye of the storm during the “bad weather” and chaos of life. Though insanity can be all around us, if we are grounded, centered, and possess clear, healthy, flexible boundaries, we have a very good chance of not being swept away by the craziness that is part and parcel of life on planet earth.

Because like vibration attracts like vibration, another benefit and bonus of cultivating boundaries is you will attract other whole, healthy people. Knowing where you end and another begins is the foundation for happy, healthy, long-lasting relationships.

In healthy relationships there is a positive exchange; a giving and receiving of energy. This happens between people who know where each other begins and ends, and respects those boundaries.

When our boundaries are in place, we know how to honor ourselves and speak up on our behalf. This supports us in communicating with love and respect for ourselves AND for other people.

One of the most important gifts I ever gave myself was the permission to take the time to really get to know myself, to love myself, and cultivate my boundaries.  This improved every aspect of my life, how I attracted my amazing husband, and how I keep our relationship thriving. I hope you also set this intention and give yourself this life changing gift. 

For more about boundaries in our romantic partnerships, listen to my interview with Ken Bechtel: http://speakingofpartnership.com/062-dr-tammi-baliszewski/

Boundaries are vital if you want to attract the right people, right situations and find your rightful place on planet earth.

When you know yourself, love yourself and take good care of yourself, life can become an amazing adventure. You no longer have a propensity to take over-responsibility or under-responsibility.  You show up as you truly are and allow others to do the same. Your needs are met be virtue of taking care of your relationship with you. Boundaries will help you stay solid and centered in your worthiness and assist you in living from clarity, integrity, love and peace.

Boundaries can help us "come home to ourselves" and support us in getting really comfortable in our skin. They also help us become happier, healthier, more  intuitive and discerning human beings. Generous giving and gracious receiving becomes more natural, joyful and balanced.  

Ultimately healthy boundaries are about protecting your connection to your soul and Source and a vital component in creating an amazing, blessed, and authentically empowered life.

Please in touch if you have questions, comments thoughts, would like additional support, or have a prayer request.

Sending you blessings of healing, wholeness, healthy boundaries and great love,

Tammi Baliszewski, Ph.D.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.