This is all about personal boundaries. We are not actually born with healthy boundaries. Boundaries are both physical and emotional. Boundaries or the lack of them is learned. In a healthy growing up environment we either learn to set healthy personal boundaries in order to maintain a positive self-concept, or self-image. It is our way of communicating to others that we have self-respect, self-worth, and will not allow others to define us. If, when growing up we were not respected, or did not see the adults in our lives’ respecting each other or other people we will tend to have low self-esteem, and a negative self image. We will also lack the skill and knowledge to honor and respect the boundaries of other people.
Without healthy boundaries, we tend to have lives’ full of drama, chaos, and it would not be possible to enjoy any relationship without boundaries.
Think about how you feel when you’re around someone who drains you and upsets you, someone with whom you feel you lose yourself. How does this feel in your body? How does it feel in your mind? How does the presence of this person affect you? Make a list of these things.
This may sound crazy, but pretend you are a car. Now look at your list of feelings and sensations you’ve made, and imagine that your body is that car, with a dashboard full of warning lights.
You’ve just identified what I like to call the “check engine light” for your personal boundary system. It’s a security system warning that your personal energy field has been breached, and you’re letting in stuff that isn’t yours.
This is really super important. When our boundaries are weak, unguarded, or unclear, we let in all sorts of stuff that isn’t actually our stuff, and we give away our own personal energy unconsciously. We give away our power.
That means you’re dealing with a breach of your energetic security system and a huge leak of your own personal energy. You’re looking at warning signs indicating that some work needs to be done, some boundaries need to be shored up.
Now here are more crazy sounding things. Grounding yourself is exactly the way a tree sinks its roots to stay secure in a storm. It’s the first tool in creating healthy boundaries—nurturing a connection with ourselves.
Our root system is both our anchor and our boundary system. It keeps us from being blown about in other people’s winds. It gives us a way to focus and still ourselves to connect with our heart and our intuition. That’s what keeps us steady and connected and focused.
There are as many ways to get grounded as there are people. I like to take five minutes to actually imagine my root system connecting me into the earth, like a giant oak tree. Here are some other ideas that work for us.
Saying a prayer, affirmation, or mantra in the shower in the morning
Repeating affirmations in your head as you walk to work or school or drive.
You are not a doormat, you don’t have “walk on me”, “sure go ahead and use me” written on you anywhere. You are allowed to say NO without feeling guilty or less loving.
Be aware of your boundaries so they do not become too rigid literally shutting out everyone in your lives’. You will appear aloof and distant, and will not talk about your feelings or show your emotions. You may exhibit extreme self-sufficiency, and will not ask for help. You will not allow anyone to get physically or emotionally close to you. It is as if you live in a house surrounded by an immense fence with no gates, and a sign saying: No one is allowed in. Check your imaginary fence and make sure it is sturdy and that your wonderful gate swings both ways.
The more you practice your boundaries, the sooner people will see that you are a person who deserves respect because you respect others and their space. Learning to set healthy boundaries takes time. It is a process. You will set boundaries when you are ready. It’s your growth in your own time frame, not what someone else tells you.
**We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.**
I love you all and I am sending you gentle, pink, huggz.
Sarah-Pink Welch ©2013