Setting Boundaries, An Expression of Love
If you are a habitual accommodator, you probably have. Perhaps you take one more task on, you change your schedule one more time, you ink in a friend who only pencils you in, you love with everything you have even after you have nothing left, or you take one more criticism or action that is hurtful or disrespectful to your being. You feel hurt or resentful, but you still step back into the same pattern. Sound familiar? It is time look at setting boundaries.
Have you ever struggled with boundary respecting?
If you are extremely assertive regardless of the company you are in or role you are fulfilling, or have avowed to a divatude, you probably have. Maybe you feel the need to speak “your mind” regardless of how it affects others, feel entitled to having those around you hear you out, or believe that your wants and needs always take precedence over others. Take a heart-check moment… you may need look at setting boundaries.
Have you ever wondered where the boundaries are?
If you have uncertainty wondering where relationships stand, what is and is not ok in a relationship, or anxiety over not being sure of another’s feelings or intents, you probably have. Step back and look at your relationships and assess setting boundaries.
There seems to be a social fine line regarding boundaries. As women we are told to set them, yet at the same time we are often judged for having them. As women we are told to push them, but often take criticism for doing so. For a moment, let’s step away from the societal aspect and expectations of boundaries and focus on personal boundaries.
Boundaries are a good thing.
A boundary is a clear defining line of an area that needs permission to be entered into by another yet it still allows for a clear view of the parties on either side of the fence. A boundary allows the freedom and breathing room to recover from and feel safe from those things that may have hurt you. It gives you room to move and find your footing while at the same time, making it clear what can or cannot happen within your space.
Setting a boundary is not always easy. It takes courage and work to set. It is not always comfortable. As you move through life, some of your boundary setting is subtle, and some of it must be bold. That’s ok. That is healthy. There will be times when a look is enough to say “You crossed the line with me.” There are times when you actually have to verbally express what your boundaries are. That may require mustering up the courage to confront the issue and the person, but it frees from the fear of recurrence as it empowers you to hold your ground and feel safe.
Like a picket fence, a boundary tells others that they are welcomed, but there are things that are allowed within the fence-line and things that are not. The fence creates a healthy boundary for interaction that benefits both parties. It lets the person setting the boundary feel safe in interaction and self- disclosure. It sets the clear ground rules for interaction for the other person, eliminating uncertainty and anxiety in interaction, allowing the relationship to move forward.
Boundaries are a good thing for both you and others. Boundaries set expectations for you and your actions, and for others and their actions when in relationship with you. As you learn your boundaries in a healthy way, you learn to respect other’s boundaries in a healthy way. Boundaries are empowering, comforting, growth producing, and relationship enhancing. Setting boundaries is one of the most loving actions you can make for yourself and for those you are in relationship with.
As a steward of your life, take a healthy look at your boundaries and how you interact with them. Know that you are accountable for where they are set and for how you respect your own and others boundaries. No one can define your boundaries for you. You must Woman UP and take ownership, accountability, and management of where you place them.