Boundaries- as women we have a love/hate relationship with them. Why? Because we so often are desperate for love and affection that we will do absolutely everything in our power to keep someone around. Even if that means sabotaging our own mental health and well-being. To simplify it- we basically associate a lack of boundaries with love our how we value our own self-worth. So, let’s take a deeper look into boundaries and how we can actually make them work for us not against us!
Anatomy of Holistic Health
When we look at the term non-toxic living it has a different ring to it than clean living. Why? Because clean living only addresses the physical aspect of our health. Non-toxic living looks at our entire health and well-being with a holistic approach. Physical health is the most well-known. It is what we eat, the products that we use and the way we move our bodies. Spiritual Health is where we learn to heal from trauma and live life with passion and meaning. Mental Health is all about the self-care and boundaries. This is what we will be focusing on today.
What are boundaries?
A boundary is a moral line that we draw that separates your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual space from others. This tells people how you expect to be treated and what is expected of you and from you. As women we tend to blur these lines quite often, which leads us to frustration, burn out and a serious lack of self-worth. When we give and give and give without building ourselves up, we end up resentful and unable to give the best we have to offer to those we love. This essentially makes us the Queens of pouring form an empty cup!
Types of Boundaries:
There are four types of boundaries that someone can establish. It is generally in good practice to have boundaries that fit in all of these four main areas. This way you have a well-rounded sense of what you stand for.
Mental boundaries would be respectful communication and standing up for what you believe is right. Often when we lack mental boundaries it will show up as disrespectful communication and agreeing just to keep the peace.
Physical boundaries would be consensual physical touch and being able to have your physical needs met. A lack of physical boundaries would appear as inappropriate and non-consensual physical touch and being denied your physical needs.
Emotional boundaries would be empathizing where you are at emotionally and recognizing/validating your emotions. A lack of emotional boundaries would be shaming, guilting, blaming and dismissing your feelings.
Spiritual boundaries would be following your intuition or gut reaction to do something that you feel is right. A lack of spiritual boundary would be ignoring your gut intuition and do something that you generally feel is wrong.
How do I implement boundaries?
The first step with implementing anything in life is to get extremely clear about what you want and what your ultimate goal would be- boundaries included. What type of boundary are you trying to set? Physical, emotional, mental or spiritual? Who is this boundary for? Children, spouse, co-worker, friend, family member? What do I want to accomplish with this boundary? Better communication, freeing up time, help with chores, space?
Now that you have your end goal and all the specifics laid out, it is time to clearly communicate to the person what this boundary is and why this is important to you. After you have effectively communicated your expectations, you have to stick to it! This is probably the most difficult part that people struggle with the most!
What if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries?
I was recently asked, “how do you handle people who question and don’t respect or accept your boundaries?” My answer- you don’t. When someone disrespects your boundary, they are telling you that they ultimately do not respect you. Ladies, ain’t nobody got time for that! Cut them loose and count your blessings. Bye Felicia.
But what if I just give this person some space and don’t directly handle the boundary infraction?
When you implement this avoidance technique all your doing is violating and disrespecting your own boundary. You know why you put this boundary in place, no stick to it ladies! You’re self worth is not associated with how someone values you. It lies in how you value yourself. If you do not stick up for yourself, no one else will!
Get comfortable with saying “no”
I was the queen of “yes” for so long that I actually became afraid to say “no”. I would establish my boundary but then someone would ask for a favor and I would feel obligated to say “yes” to not leave this person in a bad spot. This would leave me stretched thin and exhausted. Hello last minute bake sale items! When we say “yes” to things that we really do not want to do we are not energetically giving the best we have to offer! This is a disservice to you and to the person you agreed to help. When we say “no”, we are acknowledging that we do not have what it takes to give our best at the moment and allows the other person to find a more suitable match. Repeat after me- it’s ok to say “no”! This is the only explanation you ever need to not do something. No is a complete sentence!
I hope this help give you some clarity on how to stop living for other people and finally step into your own shoes! I want to hear your thoughts about boundaries? Where do you think you may need more help?
If you really enjoyed this blog post, you should check out my post on how to live your life intentionally!