We are told to set boundaries but what does it mean and how do we do that?
WE all need boundaries to keep safe and sane. They are those lines in the sand that we draw between what is acceptable and what is not in every area of our lives. We are mostly conscious of boundaries around our personal space; we wouldn’t allow strangers to come too close to us physically or touch us, we instinctively move back. We are able to make decisions about people that drain us mentally or emotionally and spend less time with them if we can’t cut them out completely. This is not always easy to do.
What we are not very good at is setting boundaries to preserve our time. We give it away, consciously or unconsciously, willingly or not; more than we care to admit, we waste it, spend it like there is no end to it , yet there is; it’s called death.
Why do we need boundaries?
We need boundaries to function well and have healthy relationships at work, at home, with our friends and about everyone we know. They establish expectations, responsibilities and limits, so that everyone can interact without feeling that they have lost anything, such as calm, time, money, objects, dignity, physical integrity, hope or safety.
Our boundaries are the law of the land, our land. Just like any country has its own laws and regulations, we need them to remain physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually safe.
The problem is, the more important people are in our lives, the harder it becomes to uphold these boundaries that we know will keep us balanced. Think about the negative talk from some relatives or the out-of-hours communication from colleagues. We know that they violate our boundaries because our bodies react with a pang or a pit in our stomach, and our negative emotions run high. But we don’t want to jeopardize our relationships so we let it go, time and time again, and it grinds at us little by little. We lose some of our happiness or we burn out.
“Emotional self-defense is an act of WISDOM. Building personal boundaries is an act of…