ESTABLISHING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES IN RELATIONSHIPS.
Establishing healthy boundaries is a necessary act of self love we all must take. What does it mean to have healthy boundaries? It means that we recognize ourselves the right to say NO when we want to. And to say YES when we want to. Too many times out of guilt we are afraid to say NO even when we really have to, when we must. In a situation where someone is crossing an emotional boundary, when someone is tiring to treat you like you don’t want to be treated, when someone tries to manipulate you, you have to stand up for yourself and say NO, you can’t do this to me because I deserve to be treated in a different way. Other times we are crossing boundaries when we say NO, instead of saying YES, maybe out of fear. When you are in a situation where saying YES means loving yourself, giving something to you, or to another, and, instead, you say NO, you are crossing your own boundary: you are abandoning yourself. Instead of showing love, you take the path of fear.
Having healthy boundaries means respecting yourself. It means that you decide to set a sacred space, you decide that you, and only you, are the master of your own energy, and no one else. Inside the space, since you love yourself, you allow energies that are supporting and uplifting, while you decide to leave out anything, or anyone, that is draining. Who is draining? Someone that wants only to take and take and take from you, because he/she has an agenda, without even worrying about you. When this happens we have to recognize that we can not change the other person: no one can look into another person’s shadow and pretend to change it. So we step back, we love ourselves and we don’t let that being in. There is no competition. No drama. No war. It is a choice: who behaves like that toward you has chosen him/herself, not you. Without guilt, we say NO. Yes, it can be difficult because they taught us that NO is a bad word, that you are selfish when you do it. But, consider what is the consequence of not saying it. You end up in a situation where you feel unloved, not appreciated for who you are and drained. Many beings are wearing a mask only to be in toxic relationships to please the other at the cost of self sacrifice. Why should you come at terms with someone that doesn’t even really care about you? Someone that doesn’t even want to be happy? Do not fall into the trap that “they do this because they love me, they want to protect me.” That is what your ego/the toxic person wants you to believe. Be aware also, that you too can have this kind of fake love toward the other. If a relationship doesn’t work NOW, it is useless to think that it could have been different. “Oh, if only I..” What? Stop to live in the past, give thanks for the lessons you have learned and move on! If things should have been different, they already would.
Having boundaries is about being authentic: you don’t diminish yourself just to please someone. You don’t pretend to be always positive or negative. That is not being authentic. If someone steps on your feet, you can not say “oh well it doesn’t matter” or “thank you.” You invite more of that if you do it. Instead you say “I don’t think you can do that.” See it this way: being happy is your right. Choosing the right people is your right as well. And there is nothing wrong with this. Boundaries are what allows you to be around the right ones for you and they can keep you from experiencing what you don’t want to, whether it is something you are doing to yourself, or something someone else is trying to do to you. Truth is that nobody is doing anything to you. This doesn’t mean that you want to ignore an abuse toward yourself, it means that you are never a victim, there is no need to blame. You are in control. What are you doing that is inviting in your life what doesn’t make you happy? If you are experiencing something you don’t like, you are a match to that frequency. So, look at yourself instead of pointing a finger, and become aware of what is in you that is acting as an agreement for you to experience what doesn’t bring you joy. Change that, heal that, and then you will never experience it anymore.
Having healthy boundaries is all about saying yes to you, and there is no grater act of self love. If you put another before you, then you are neglecting your own needs. If you allow someone to define who you are, you are not being authentic. Only you know the truth about yourself, and certainly toxic people don’t want to be authentic. They want to keep you small, powerless, stuck and unhappy. Be conscious of that and, again, do not fool yourself: they do not want to change. And you can not do the work for them. Taking on their pain, sacrificing yourself, is not the way: you have now doubled the pain! One of the most difficult thing to do, and maybe the healthiest, is to learn how to be strong for yourself. In this way others are lifted: but, again, you don’t do it for others, you do it for yourself. It is not being selfish. Here is how it goes: do you want to be happy? Healthy? Do you want love? If answer is yes… Who you think can manifest that if not you? And how do you think you can do all of that if you don’t live your own life? Do not live up to other people expectations. In other words how can you do it if you don’t put yourself first? And do you think that you have to be happy/healthy/in abundance for others? You do it for others? Then you do it just to impress them… That is so fake… You want it for you of course! Then you share it and that is another story. I think you are selfish if you don’t share it, not if you do it for yourself. You only have your life, only you can live it. In the spiritual community we often fall into the trap of “it is all love and light.” Do not get me wrong: it is the truth. But there are those that are unaware of this: if you stay in the belief that “is all love and light” you will end up very disappointed by certain people. Find balance and understand that there are toxic people even if “it is all love and light!” They will keep you asking and asking for anything: love, attention, energy. They expect you to give it to them because that is what they want. And if you give them even a single drop of yourself they will keep asking for more and more and more. But, since you are a loving person, you put up a boundary. Learn to recognize who is your friend. Not at words: by facts. For the others, no rancor but if we don’t resonate, if we don’t meet, that can’t be changed. With love.
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This work by Michele Cornacchia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.iammysoul.com/.