The Healing Lodge
Personal Awareness — Setting Boundaries
Taking responsibility. Making choices I feel comfortable with. I can choose, and must choose. Maybe you're like me. Boundary marking is like teetering on the cusp of a new paradigm. I'm fearful and haunted by guilt. I need to do the inner work first - set my own personal boundaries and then speak out my truth with Spirit-tongue - which means that I determine never to speak with the intention of hurting, but with the intention of honoring my own truth and speaking it caringly.
So what do I mean when I say 'setting boundaries'? It means, for me, to create a safe haven for my soul..for its nourishment, its growth, its self-expression. It also means that I honor my own rhythms of life. I honor my times of needing rest, retreat or replenishment.
Some of us, like me, have been so used to other people controlling or manipulating us that we don't know how to stop and give ourselves permission to set the limits we know we so desperately need. When we feel other people pushing us to our limits, that is when we will take a look at this issue.
In setting my own personal boundaries, I needed (and still need) to realize that is is impossible for everyone to like me. That I don't have to be competent or adequate all of the time. That other people do not have to share my values, but that mine are special to me and I honor myself by honoring my own values. There are so many other things that can be added to this list. These are just a few of mine.
So what lies within my boundaries? *My own physical body. I have the choice of what I feed my body and how I care for my own physical being. *My attitudes. My attitudes and my opinions about my own mental positions toward or about something. These exist within my own "property line". These form the structure of my own personality and are my own responsibility. I choose them. I do not need to soak up other's attitudes, or take responsibility for their opinions. *My feelings. I am responsible for what I choose to feel and why. These are signals of my own state of being, and they tell me what matters to me, what needs changing, what is going well, or not so well. To disown my own feelings, to ignore responsibility for them, is destructive to my Self. *My behaviour. I am responsible for the way I act and conduct myself. If I disown responsibility for my behavior, I become powerless. To own my own behavior, to admit it, to recognize it, to acknowledge it, to take full responsibilty for it is an aspect of knowing my own personal boundaries. Others are responsible for THEIR own behavior..I'm not! *My thoughts. What I actively think or question. Recognizing and challenging distorted thinking. I am not responsible for someone else's thoughts so I must be very careful not to assume anything about another human being. If I cannot separate my own thoughts and opinions from another's, then I have actually ceased to be a person in my own right. Thinking my own thoughts about anything is the beginning of freedom and responsibility.
*My abilities. I choose not to accept anothers definition of my talents without seeing if these definitions fit what I want or who I am. Many frustrated people try to live their lives as others have defined them. I had lost my own true self when I conformed and conformed, was manipulated and then pressured to be what I was not. In the process, I lost my own separateness and identity. Retrieving my own spirit, calling myself back to my Self was a long painful process, and retrieval still continues. I need to remember, deep within, that I am a separate person with a unique identity, and that I must not conform into someone else's wishes for they may conflict with what the Universe, (God, my Higher Power etc.) has designed for me. I must own what is mine, and develop it (whatever that is).
*My desires. My desires are an important part of what lies within
my boundaries and fences. Each of us has different wants and desires, wishes
and dreams, goals and plans, hungers and thirsts. Desires clearly lie within
our own 'yard'.
When we are willing to acknowledge our own desires, then we become women who are clear about what we want. We get a sense of being a solid entity. Our personhood has definition, and our personality has edges. These edges do not have to be rough, or hurtful, but they need to be present! In addition, owning our desires and wants helps us to reach our goals in life. Realizing our desires motivates us toward any goal.
Choices are the foundation upon which boundaries are built. Choices have two directions. Yes and no. We can choose to do something, or we can choose not to do it. There are certain things in life over which we have no control, but we always have a choice about how to respond to these things. Our choices determine our direction in life, but if we do not own this fact, we don't know where we are going. We resent where we end up as if it's someone else's fault. Not making a choice is a choice!
Just as our yard has physical boundaries, so do our lives: emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual. Many of us don't take responsibility for our own limits, and overextend ourselves. It takes time to learn our limits in the various areas of life, but they CAN be learned if we are aware of our feelings, attitudes and behaviours. If we are feeling overburdened, we must realize where we are overburdened or overextended and say NO. We can err in either direction. One important aspect of realizing our boundaries that I am learning is that I must limit the effects of others on me. If someone is asking too much of me, I must draw the line as to what I will give, and what I will not give. It basically means saying, "I will not allow myself to be treated this way", or saying, "I am not comfortable about this" (whatever "this" may be).
I know this may sound harsh to some, but I have a statement that holds great truth for me. "Avoid friends and followers who are detrimental to thy peace of mind and spiritual growth." Tibetan Rosary of Precious Jems.
This is important to us all. We have to remember that taking care of ourselves is every bit as important as taking care of someone else.
I intend to set my boundaries. I intend to guard my boundaries. I intend to speak my truth with Spirit-tongue, unafraid, and unguilty.
|Prior Story||The Healing Lodge Main Page||Next Story|
Innerspace Main Page
Modifications and Maintenance by Wicked