Boundaries. I’m not sure if my life was better or worse without them, but they have certainly helped me evolve and gain sovereignty over my life.
On my 35th birthday I had my first tarot reading. My cards said that a certain relationship in my life was upside down and toxic. I needed to focus on my business and set firm boundaries with certain people in my life. I needed to remove myself from caring for them and start loving and caring for myself, so that they could step into the best version of themselves and I could step into mine.
But no one told me what that would look like.
Here’s the thing about boundaries. When you don’t have them, everyone else still loves you, but you can’t love yourself. When you have boundaries, you start loving yourself, but you are no longer loved by everyone else. I don’t know which one is worse.
For years I felt that my presence and support was necessary for others to feel loved and supported. I felt that I needed to be there for others at the expense of my own needs. This can be a symptom of co-dependency. Classic co-dependency is defined as “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction”. As a child that grew up with an alcoholic/addict, it’s not unusual that I grew up and had a child with one, as well.
Since discovering my own boundaries, I’ve noticed how important it is to model my boundaries to my child and vocalize theirs when they need help. Boundaries are described as “guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits” Wikipedia It helps me set limits, decrease my frustration, and enhance communication with my child.
In a world where children’s boundaries are neither respected or acknowledged, it’s not surprising how difficult it is for adults to set, enforce, and respect boundaries with other adults. How could we learn what our boundaries were, when we were never allowed to express them?
I can’t even count the times a friend has told me that they are uncomfortable and unable to set boundaries with other people. Every time I hear that I remind them “When you refuse to set boundaries with others, you are subconsciously saying that your needs are less important than theirs”. You are living from that track in your brain and every decision you make is from that place. Energetically, you are living from a place of lack. An inability to feel like you deserve to have your needs met.
I remember the days before I had any boundaries. I was in a constant state of anxiety. I was so exhausted. I’m pretty sure that I was suffering from adrenal fatigue, because I was in a constant state of fight or flight. I was angry. It felt like my life was being lived for everyone else. But where did that leave me? I needed to say “no”, but everything had told me that “saying no” was giving up on people. How could I love someone and not help them? What if I wasn’t there to help and something bad happened to them? What if people didn’t like me anymore? I was always considered a nice, friendly person. Would they think I was a bitch?
The thing about boundaries is that they are contagious. With every boundary you set, you get a surge of empowerment. You say “no” to something draining you, so that you can say “yes” to something that gives you energy. And it feels amazing! My slogan became “Demand peace. Find Joy. Claim Your Purpose”, because with the energy that I took back from the people and things that drained me, I was giving back to myself. I had time to create, to play with my child, to enjoy my life. I got clear on what my purpose and passion was. I claimed sovereignty over my own life. I was no longer just surviving, I was the author of my own life. My life became a love story for me, for my family, for my future.
Boundaries are easy when you are decisive about what you will allow in your life and home. What people, places, and things give you life? Which things drain your life?
Once you start setting boundaries, how will your life change? Here are 6 Ways Setting Boundaries Will Give You Personal Sovereignty over your life.
1) Setting boundaries gives you freedom.
You are no longer responsible for the way others react. You are only responsible for yourself and the things that you will allow into your life.
2) Boundaries give you confidence.
Once you start setting boundaries with others, your self-esteem will soar. Each time you set one, you get a boost of confidence, positive results, and you are subconsciously telling yourself that your needs matter and are valued.
3) Setting boundaries helps you gain clarity and decisiveness. Setting your personal boundaries gives you clarity on who you are and what you value in life, thus making all decisions easier. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what your needs are, but if you can decide where your priorities and values lie, you can set boundaries to uphold those beliefs. For example, if family is a priority, then you can set boundaries with your work and anything that distracts you from family.
4) Setting boundaries will help you determine who your true friends are. Boundaries weed out the people in your life who don’t respect you. It’s easy to be liked when you are living for everyone else’s needs. It’s a different story when you put yourself first. You will quickly figure out who is friends with you for the right reasons and who is around for selfish reasons.
5) Boundaries will be a catalyst for your evolution. Once you start setting boundaries, determining your needs, and gaining clarity around your priorities, you will start to evolve as a person. I have noticed more personal growth in the last year and a half, due to my ability to set healthy boundaries. I have learned that my needs matter, I also recognized what my values are, and became decisive about who and what I will and won’t allow in my life.
6) Boundaries simplify your life. Once you determine your needs, you will simplify all areas of your life. You will detach from energy vampires and make more time for yourself. You will develop a framework for your life, which will make all decisions easier. And lastly, you will detach from the useless tracks and clutter in your mind, that subconsciously tell you that your needs don’t matter. Or that people will only like you if you do what they want. The wrong people will exit your life, leaving you more time to focus on building healthy relationships with the people that do stay.
So what are you waiting for? Start standing up for your needs.
If you don’t know how to set a boundary, start with a simple “No”. “No, that doesn’t work for me” “No, I appreciate the invitation, but I won’t be able to attend” OR “I don’t like when you do xyz, it makes me feel x”. Make sure you are clear on your boundaries and bravely set them. Your future self will thank you.