R e f i n i n g y o u r R e l a t i o n s h i p t o H e a lt h y B o u n d a r i e s
Healthy personal boundaries are some of the most chal- lenging skills to master. Most people never have to exam- ine their relationship to their boundaries (physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual) until they are challenged. Realize, your present relationship to boundaries was heavily condi- tioned by your family and continually reinforced through- out your life. This has a profound impact on how you navigate every relationship. Unless you have consciously investigated your inner relationship to this skill, you are most likely unaware of your potential dysfunction. Some can create boundaries in one area of their life but have difficulty doing so in another. This is not surprising since people are habitual by nature and have had limited expo- sure to healthy models. Without awareness, most operate by default. When confronted, people usually become defensive – as if they are protecting themselves from an enemy who is storming the castle. It is a knee-jerk reaction tomanage the pressure of the toxic, painful, or intolerable circumstance. It is an understandable and common reaction, but not a healthy one. Most fumble through these uncomfortable confrontations struggling to learn what healthy boundar- ies could look like. But trying tomanage a charged situation without inner awareness is working from“the outside in” instead of the “inside out.” There is another way. Healthy boundaries are an ongoing conscious choice. Your level of self-awareness directly informs the development of healthy boundaries. Without introspection and self-un- derstanding, it is impossible to make an informed deci- sion about your behavior. Mastering balanced boundar- ies require ongoing conscious assessment and devoted practice. Assess your position: Are they too severe? Are you managing them with anger and resentment? Or are they too lenient? Are they enabling and self-destructive? Refine how you navigate your boundaries based on the feedback you receive from your inner and outer environ- ment. When you understand that in every moment each boundary is a conscious choice and a new opportunity, you can be empowered to change. With awareness, you real- ize that you can shift your boundaries to align with what feels right for you, and you can give yourself permission to recreate yourself. The healthiest boundaries are always responsive and never reactive. There is a powerful, symbiotic relation- ship between your intrinsic needs and the expression of your boundaries. A true response is always saturated with self-awareness. It is the “ability to respond” as a guard- ian to protect and nourish those needs. An outside cata-
lyst will always challenge you to refine your inner relation- ship, but it should never define your boundaries. When you are in alignment and clear with your position, you are not responsible for the reactions or issues which may arise in others. There is no need to indulge in their commentary, feedback, or opinions. Your boundaries are not open for discussion. Healthy boundaries are always implemented in response to your inner referencing. Always remember that you are setting any boundary “for you” or “for an aspect of you.” You are never setting boundaries “against anyone.” Your boundaries are not a battle tactic. Let go of the illusion of the outer enemy and shift your focus inward. This can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it changes the game. Begin by resonating with your internal needs and set your response to that inner referencing. Internally acknowl- edge that “the present outer experience is not in alignment with my personal needs and values.” You are never obli- gated to apologize, justify or explain your position. What you decide should not be adversarial and never be used as an act of defiance, revenge, or a weapon against another. Instead, allow it to be inspired by self-respect, self-nur- turing, and self-worth in response to those inner needs. Healthy boundaries are consistent and sustainable. Your ongoing relationship with your boundaries is reflected in your day-to-day behavior. When you choose to repeat- edly show up for yourself, it becomes habitual. You demon- strate that you have integrated a deeper level of self-re- spect and alignment with your inner world. Eventually, you will be less tempted to settle for anything else. In the beginning, it is natural to feel insecure and question your- self. Setting boundaries takes courage, but when it stops being a postured tactic for defense or control it radiates authenticity. Your delivery becomes clear and unques- tionable and avoids anymixedmessages. Your boundaries become sustainable when they are a natural extension of you, and you truly believe in them. Others will be less likely to challenge you because of the consistent connection and transmission of your inner conviction. Learning to set healthy personal boundaries is an ongo- ing process. You will refine and recreate them as you developmore awareness and confidence in trusting your- self. Execute on your own time frame. Be willing to shift as your needs evolve. What was appropriate todaymay not be necessary tomorrow. In any relationship, when you make your boundaries an authentic expression of your inner needs, it is a profound act of self-love.
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