Day 283. (Holy Sh*t.)
I am writing this post for you as much as I am for me. As a co-dependent people pleaser, my boundaries have always been somewhat non-existent.
Boundaries are a necessary part of all areas of our lives. Both personal and professional relationships require them. We need boundaries with our body and what we do to it and put into it. Hell, I even need boundaries with my damn phone. That piece of 2×5 technology sucks time out of my day, pulls me away from my children and lowers my vibe in a major way. Yet, I find myself staring at it for an exorbitant amount of time everyday. (Anyone else receiving those screen time updates? YIKES!)
Boundaries help us feel safe and are essential to healthy relationships and, in turn, healthy lives. They protect us and allow us to separate from other’s actions and feelings. They are a direct representation of how much we respect ourselves. They are about US, not someone else. As a result of setting boundaries, we are able to connect to our highest ant truest self.
How is it that I (someone who preaches self-love) continually struggles with this? THIS is the work, that’s why. My life didn’t get perfect when I got sober. My wounds didn’t suddenly heal when I quit booze. But, I don’t consider this a bad thing; quite the opposite actually. Because now I can honestly look at myself- my ‘shit’- and work on it. I can own my shortcomings and work towards being the best version of me. Could I have done any of this if I was still drinking? Oh HELL no.
So, how the do we do this? I have been sitting with this a lot and here is what I cooked up. This is by no means a ‘I have this all figured out, so follow my lead’ kind of list. It’s more of a ‘let’s see if these things can help’ variety.
Four Steps to Setting Boundaries like a Motherfucker.
Tune in and ask before you make a commitment. Reflect on who may be taking advantage of you and how that’s made you feel in the past. Make a plan for how to be in your best energy.
2. Ask Yourself Questions.
Ask what feels good and what doesn’t. Ask if what you’re doing is in alignment with who you are. Ask yourself WHY you are doing it. Is it a good opportunity? Will your future self thank you for it? Do you feel joy when you think it? What will the consequence on my energy be?
3. Don’t answer right away.
This is a huge one for me. Therapy has helped me realize that I associate pleasing people with getting love. It is hugely important for give ourselves time to digest whatever it is that we’re considering. Feel it through the highs and lows before making a commitment. When asked to make a commitment, or do something, that you’re not sure of, try responding with, ‘let me think about that and get back to you’.
4. Be honest.
You can’t go wrong with this one. Be honest with people. Tel them you’re over-tired or over-worked. Express that what you’ve been asked to do isn’t in alignment. If the other party is upset with this honesty, remember that that is about THEM not you.
Boundaries are a form of self- R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And, also, a reminder that when we create boundaries and say no to things that aren’t in alignment, we create space for things, people, relationships, etc. that are.