Boundaries and what they are!
Love can’t exist without boundaries, even with your children. It’s easy to understand external boundaries as your bottom line. Think of rules and principles you live by when you say what you will or won’t do or allow. If you have difficulty saying no, override your needs to please others, or are bothered by someone who is demanding, controlling, criticizing, pushy, abusive, invasive, pleading, or even smothering you with kindness, it’s your responsibility to speak-up. To create boundaries through healing one needs to understand what co-dependence is and how we become enmeshed in each others lives to the point where lines become crossed. In other words I feel great because you think I’m doing the right thing. Does that make sense? We need to create boundaries through healing so that we can become self actualizing.
There are several areas where boundaries apply:
Ways to create boundaries through healing
Material boundaries determine whether you give or loan things, such as your money, car, clothes, books, food, or toothbrush.
Physical boundaries pertain to your personal space, privacy, and body. Do you give a handshake or a hug – to whom and when? How do you feel about loud music, nudity, and locked doors?
Mental boundaries apply to your thoughts, values, and opinions to create boundaries through healing that are lasting. Are you easily suggestible? Do you know what you believe, and can you hold onto your opinions? Can you open-mindedly to listen to someone else’s, without becoming rigid? If you become highly emotional, argumentative, or defensive, you may have weak emotional boundaries.
Emotional boundaries distinguish separating your emotions and responsibility for them from someone else’s. It’s like an imaginary line or force field that separates you and others. Healthy boundaries prevent you from giving advice, blaming or accepting blame. They protect you from feeling guilty for someone else’s negative feelings or problems and taking others’ comments personally. High reactivity suggests weak emotional boundaries. To create boundaries through healing means creating healthy lines in the sand. Healthy habits. Healthy self efficacy. Healthy emotional boundaries require clear internal boundaries – knowing your feelings and your responsibilities to yourself and others.
Sexual boundaries protect your comfort level with sexual touch and activity – what, where, when, and with whom.
Spiritual boundaries relate to your beliefs and experiences in connection with God and a higher power.
It’s hard for co-dependents to set boundaries because they put other people’s needs and feelings first, they don’t know themselves well at all, they don’t feel they have any rights, they believe setting boundaries jeopardizes the relationship and may be rejected.
Create boundaries through healing implies that these techniques are learned. You didn’t learn you had rights or boundaries if yours weren’t valued growing up. Any kind of abuse violates personal boundaries including teasing. For example; Bullying can incapacitate a child in saying “no” or challenging others for many years, possibly promoting pathology. In healing programs it is possible to gain the capacity to tell a masseuse to stop and use less pressure! In some cases, boundary violations affect a child’s ability to mature into an independent, responsible adult.
Internal boundaries regulate your relationship with yourself. Think of them as self-discipline and healthy management of time, thoughts, emotions, behaviour and impulses. Create boundaries through healing is necessary as a starting point from within. If you’re procrastinating, doing things you neither have to nor want to do, or overdoing and not getting enough rest, recreation, or balanced meals, you may be neglecting internal physical boundaries. Learning to manage negative thoughts and feelings empowers you, as does the ability to follow through on goals and commitments to yourself.
To create boundaries through healing, we must understand that emotional and mental internal boundaries help you not assume responsibility for, or obsess about, other people’s feelings and problems – something codependents commonly do, followed by violating others’ emotional boundaries with unwanted advice. Strong internal boundaries curb suggestibility. You think about yourself, rather than automatically agreeing with others’ criticism or advice. You’re then empowered to set external emotional boundaries if you choose. Similarly, since you’re accountable for your feelings and actions, you don’t blame others. When you’re blamed, if you don’t feel responsible, instead of defending yourself or apologizing, you can say, “I don’t take responsibility for that.”
Create boundaries through healing guilt and resentment
Anger is often a signal that action is required and it is time to create boundaries through healing. Are you oftentimes easily angered, frustrated and annoyed. If you feel resentful or victimized and are blaming someone or something, it might mean that you haven’t been setting boundaries. If you feel anxious or guilty about setting boundaries, remember, your relationship suffers when you’re unhappy. Once you get practice setting boundaries, you feel empowered and less anxiety, resentment, and guilt. Generally, you receive more respect from others and your relationships improve.
Setting effective boundaries
People often say they set a boundary, but it didn’t help. There’s an art to setting boundaries. If it’s done in anger or by nagging – “I’ve told you 100 times . . .,” you won’t be heard. Boundaries are not meant to punish, but are for your well-being and protection. They’re more effective when you’re assertive, calm, firm, and courteous. If that doesn’t work, you may need to communicate consequences to encourage compliance. It’s essential, however, when creating boundaries through healing, that you never threaten a consequence you’re not fully prepared to carry out.
It takes time, support, and relearning to be able to set effective boundaries. Self-awareness and learning to be assertive are the first steps. Setting boundaries isn’t selfish. Its self-love – You say “Yes,” to you, each time you say “No.” It builds self-esteem. But it usually takes encouragement to make yourself a priority and to persist, especially when you receive resistance.
For more information on creating boundaries through healing and recovery why not spend some time away from your regular people, places and things. Specialized treatment packages are on offer through The Sanctuary Wellness Program which include not only how to create boundaries through healing but also depression healing, stress, divorce retreat and specialist life realignment care. Call 0824424779 for more info.