In our lives -- and in relationships -- we create personal boundaries to define the space we call our own. We set boundaries and say “no” with our words, but even more so with our behavior and actions: we may tell white lies, come up with excuses, or throw ourselves into activities like work, working out, or volunteering -- essentially creating boundaries by making ourselves unavailable.
Boundaries may sound negative, but in reality, they are very important and help to define our personal identities. For example, being the nurturer or a people-pleaser comes with boundaries that fit those roles. Being the boss or the guru comes with a anders set of boundaries that keep those identities intact.
In this sense, personal boundaries allow us to “locate” ourselves within relationships (or within the world) in a way that’s familiar and safe. Our boundaries help us to honor the balance between taking care of ourselves, and taking care of others.
Updating Your Personal Boundaries
Here are four practices that will empower you to update your personal boundaries and take ownership of your life: Honor yourself; Soothe yourself; Embrace choice; Accept yourself and your life lessons.
What parts of your life are in need of care or attention?
On a daily basis, find simple ways to honor yourself. Choose three things you like doing every day, and then do them. You might pick something as simple as taking a walk, reading, or having lunch with family or friends.
Whatever you choose, know that you deserve to have pleasure, so let pleasure be your guide.
Are you living the life you want to live? Or do you feel like you are stuck and don’t have a choice in what’s happening?
In these moments, stop and recognize the feeling of “choicelessness,” check your assumptions, and acknowledge the needs and desires you’re afraid won’t get met.
With practice, you will find that cultivating the awareness of choice is profoundly soothing to your soul.
Every time we make a decision, we have an opportunity to determine a course of action: “Do I stay here and face the situation, or do I run out the door?”
By recognizing that you have control over your own reactions, you’ll also have the opportunity to reinforce, change, or alter your boundaries.
Accept yourself and your life lessons
When faced with a challenge or disappointment, ask yourself: “What is my lesson here? How is this challenge a way for my soul to grow?” Use your answers to create boundaries that reflect acceptance of your true self.
Shame and disappointment about our lives causes us to create false boundaries and interactions with the people we care about most. It’s important to accept who you are and what has happened in your life.
Über die Autoren
Cyndi Dale is an internationally respected author, cross-cultural healer, and spiritual scholar with over 35,000 client sessions and trainings across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Her books include the Gold Nautilus award-winning The Subtle Body und The Complete Book of Chakra Healing , currently in its 14th printing. To learn more, visit www.CyndiDale.com.
Andrew Wald, LCSW-C, is a psychotherapist with advanced certifications in Imago Relationship Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Since he began his practice, in 1974, Andy has logged over 50,000 therapy hours with his clients which include individuals, couples, families, and groups. For more info, visit www.AndrewLWaldLCSW.com.