This is such a hard topic for me to discuss because I am not actually sure what my boundaries are. Or maybe, it’s that I do know what they are but I’m not sure how to go about explaining them in words to others that need to hear them so they can understand what I will and will no longer allow.
Instead of creating boundaries, what I have been doing is getting angry and cutting people off if they don’t respect my boundary, even though I’ve never given them a list of my boundaries. So, I haven’t been playing very fair I guess. Not for myself or them.
I cut people off, I yell, I get angry, I shut down, I get annoyed, all because the things that led me to react in this way, I didn’t know were called boundaries and that others weren’t respecting them.
I was not given permission to create boundaries or told that we are allowed to have them.
Let me explain. My life was built on people pleasing and obligations. I was taught that whatever role I have is the role I am “supposed” to be committed to first and then all the things that I like will follow; play, hobbies, relaxing, daydreaming, stillness, quiet.
However, once I accomplished all my “supposed” to roles, I was spent and had no time for my like’s. So anger and resentment and hurt built up which led to anxiety, depression, a breakdown and ultimately spiritual awakening. Which is lucky for me but not so lucky for so many others. I appreciate and am grateful for the mental struggles that have brought me to where I am now but I was also fortunate enough to have a great support of love around me and access to tools that many others may not have access to and chose other means to handle their breakdowns.
However, if topics like boundaries and obligations and roles and self-care and awareness and self-advocacy are spoken about more and shared more without the fear of being shut out, we can avoid so much pain and hurt we impose on ourselves and others.
I know I have a list of things I like and don’t like. Things I don’t mind talking about or sharing and things that are my personal opinion and no amount of conversation will change it.
There are people I bring my energy to that I want to associate myself with. There was a time that I believed I was put on this earth to change certain people or give them a better version of who they could become. However, I’ve learned that it is in fact NOT my job to do this. I am not this prophet that was called to do this work on earth and I do not need to associate with certain people family or not, friends for a lifetime or not, co-workers or not, community members or not, because I thought through my example, they can change. My only obligation is to myself and how I behave and treat others and if it’s in line with my morals and belief code and self-respect and self-love. As long as I am doing no physical or mental harm to others, then I am in line with life. There is a universal moral code and as long as we’re standing by that, then we’re going to be ok. And if you’re reading this and don’t know what the universal moral code is, then please refer back to some other posts I’ve written or just think about ways in which we should be treating others that will cause them no harm.
I was also under the impression that I needed to explain my ‘no’. That if I said ‘yes’, to something yesterday that I wasn’t allowed to change my mind today or that I had to give some long, winded explanation to my mind change. I don’t have to explain a thing. Unless I’ve made a commitment to someone, and a commitment, in my boundary list, means; I said I’d give you a ride somewhere, I am saying ‘no’ to my employer about coming into work, I said yes to my spouse that needs me to help with something, my child requested me to drop her off somewhere or anything that falls under the ‘immediate families commitment list’ and that saying ‘no’ to them would mean I’m just being an ass-hat and I’m leaving them stranded. In cases like this, my ‘no’ should come with an explanation and a solution, not just “nah, I don’t feel like it.”
Because remember, these are my boundaries and I get to create them, so there’s no wrong or right way to set them.
According to an article written in ‘Psychology Today’, titled; What It Means to Create Boundaries in Relationships https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intimacy-path-toward-spirituality/201810/what-it-means-create-boundaries-in-relationships
Having boundaries means honoring ourselves as a separate individual with needs and wants that often differ from others. Without healthy boundaries, we allow others to override our own feelings and desires. The essence of boundaries is differentiating what we want from what others want from us.John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT
So I am in the process of finally understanding that boundaries are necessary and that I need them in place instead of thinking others will know what they are because they’re mind readers. I also need them in place so that I can operate at a higher frequency and instead of getting angry or shutting people out, I can remind someone of a boundary they may have not respected and warn them what the consequences are for disrespecting my boundary; give them one more chance or be forced to not engage with them any longer. And in giving them the boundaries, they can decide for themselves if they choose to respect it or not but I also have the choice to keep them in my life or not instead of living with this guilt of having shut people out or gotten angry with someone when I could have avoided it all in the 1st place.
While I’m in the process of understanding that boundaries are necessary, I am also writing them down and plan to share them with those around me, so that changes can be made with how I operate with myself and with others and in the hopes to be more understood and at peace.
We all seek to be understood, that doesn’t mean you have to agree with me, it just means if you understand a person more, maybe you can accept them more which is also something we all seek; acceptance. But not acceptance based on your opinion of me but of who I truly am and not what you’re trying to make me be. We should all accept people for their truth and where they are in their journey. Acceptance also does not mean you need to associate with this person/people, it just means that there is a mutual understanding that they are who they are and again it comes down to choosing whether you’d like to associate with them or not.
Ultimately, the choice to associate or not is always ours to make and the choice of what we allow and not allow to enter our space, is also up to us.