We will be looking at my five ways of wellness. One post a week, next up is.....Boundaries.
We will be discussing the ways of wellness for the next five weeks. We will look at the most often overlooked causes of distress and dis-ease. The things in our lives that are most troublesome and common to most of us, they however, feel insurmountable and the answers, often, out of reach.
The second way to be well is to recognize that all our relationships require Boundaries. Yes, that is correct, healthy relationships require boundaries!
The Oxford English dictionary defines a boundary as a line that marks the limits of an area, a dividing line. This definition also holds true in our own lives. We need to develop lines of demarcation in our relationships. Areas that clearly define what is acceptable and unacceptable treatment of us. Boundaries can include physical, emotional, communication, financial and so many other areas. We also need to create boundaries for how we interact with ourselves.
A Boundary is a Value Statement
The problem is that a lot of us are not clear ourselves as to what is acceptable and unacceptable treatment of us. We come from unstable, unsupportive neglectful, abusive experiences that leave us unsure of our worth and value in the world. This can wreak havoc with our ability to set healthy, loving boundaries for ourselves in relationships. There are parenting styles that leave us ill equipped to navigate the world of relationships. But navigate we must, because as human beings we are hard-wired for relationship! Learning to identify the cues that tell us boundaries are needed is an important step in this process. Uncovering core beliefs that have kept us from creating them in the first place, is another important step.
Cues You Can Use
There may be clear indications that can help us recognize the need for either creating boundaries or enacting healthier boundaries in a relationship. We may get a fearful sinking feeling in our stomachs at the thought of having to interact or have a discussion with someone. We may become anxious, have heart palpitations, sweat or even become nauseous in our dealings with certain individuals. We may find ourselves, making accuses of others’ behaviors towards us, avoiding them, agreeing to things when we want to say no, giving when we do not have, doing things for others when they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves. A big sign is when you find yourself harboring resentments towards others for your behavior or for not getting the response that you expected.
The two responses to creating boundaries that I hear most often is “this feels selfish” and “what if everybody leaves me”. These responses are often the key to why relationships currently have no boundaries. It is important to note these feelings are rooted in past or childhood relationships where what you needed or wanted was of no importance or when your boundaries where egregiously breached.
All is Well
As an adult you can work through childhood wounds and identify the truth of who you are. That work can include, creating values and beliefs that are more accurate to your current life view and establishing a standard of treatment for yourself that allows you to be authentic and present for yourself and others.
I will finish this post up like the previous post. Sometimes we cannot do the things we need to do to be well, on our own. The help of caring friends and family can be used to point out some things that we may miss, other times, we may need a qualified professional. Either way…Happy Boundary Setting!!