I recently read the healthiest people are those who set and maintain healthy boundaries both for themselves and with others.
Boundaries are really just limits, right? Limits we set for ourselves: “Am I going to eat another Oreo?” Or perhaps, “It’s okay for you to call me a loser. I’m good with that.” “Oh, and you don’t need to listen to me when I talk because I really don’t matter.” Ouch. Boundaries are the invisible fences we build around ourselves that marks what is okay and what is not.
This whole boundary thing can be a bit of a head scratcher unless, of course, you won the parent lottery at birth and arrived into a family where boundaries were implemented clearly. You were treated with love and respect from the word “go” and so healthy boundaries became a part of how you operate.
But let’s say you were yelled at by your parents when you were young. Or criticized. Or ignored. Your parents meant well. They wanted you to learn but the method was flawed. So you grew and moved out into the world where you treat yourself with the same harshness. You are critical of you. You ignore you. You may even tolerate this from others. Why wouldn’t you? This is what you experienced as normal. These become your standard, in other words, these become your boundaries.
And so we start the process of recognizing what limits nurture us and which ones squash us down. The litmus test to hold in your head is the question “Is this choice/action GOOD FOR ME?” Apply it to EVERY THING…even the actions of others, which of course we don’t control. But we do control our own choices and responses. We can let others know what we are willing to do or not do. BAM! Instant empowerment.
Easy? No. Effective? Yes.
Make yourself the shining star of your own life. Like new parents do with their precious baby, who they abundantly adore. They cherish. They celebrate. They pour their time and energy into this beautiful little peanut with such tremendous love and care. Raise your standards for yourself to this level, the love level. Show your crazy amazing self how wonderful you are through your actions and the boundaries you set.
What is it my dear friend that will pick you up and make you feel “worth it”??? Because this can only come from within you. It is our job to set and maintain these parameters for ourselves.
Next post, I will share a few of my favorite ways to Build Better Boundaries.