“I never have any time to get things done.”
“He’s always overspending then wants me to bail him out.”
“I can’t believe she just drops by without asking!”
Oh…these sound familiar don’t they? If these statements or ones like them are not ones you have found yourself uttering at one time or another, I can bet you know someone who has. They (or you) are lamenting about what other people are doing, not doing, or what they themselves simply cannot do because of other people! Hmm…there’s a pattern here. No choosing going on. Hmm.
It’s called a lack of healthy boundaries. Boundaries are one of my favorite topics, simply because I believe that we need them like air, food and water. They do so many amazing things, such as help us define who we are. They create trust and emotional safety in our relationships. Boundaries help us trust ourselves, as we detach from others’ issues and focus on our own healthy power.
I think there is a continuum of healthy boundaries where we can place ourselves, and I also believe there are direct and indirect correlations between the drama and hurt in our life – and where we hang out on that line. Lack of boundaries usually means there is victimhood, manipulation, and a denial of reality going on. As a counselor and coach for many years I can certainly attest – that things don’t end well with that kind of recipe happening.
Healthy boundaries – or a lack thereof – impact every area of your life. From your finances to your feelings and everything in-between, if you sit there long enough you can boil down stressful scenarios to a boundary issue or two. I don’t mean the unusual awful thing happening that has nothing to do with our choices. I mean the patterns in our lives that will continue until something gives. Until we’ve simply had it.
It often takes us hitting bottom to finally set what I call the Atom Bomb boundary – which can often create a point of no return. Learning to set healthy limits along the way can often prevent this from happening, although that would also require others to take you seriously the first time!
Learning about boundaries…the different areas, all the layers and facets requires commitment, patience and self-love. Over the years I have walked this road with many a client, watching their lives transform as they finally loving themselves and others around them by saying NO. No to abuse, no to being manipulated, and not to self-sabotage. And yes, to healthier relationships with themselves and others. How are your boundaries? What are your struggles? I’d love to hear about them and share some answers on the podcast and in future blogs.
So here’s to those Lines in the Sand that allow for good things to happen ?