No. 50 – Boundaries

No. 50 – Boundaries

Dear One,

With heartfelt intention, I offer ideas to bring forth more of your incredible potential and even traverse challenges as these 2 things can be surprisingly bound together.  This share’s about ‘Boundaries.’

Formerly, I thought, as noted here, Boundaries were a brick wall keeping others out or rigid lines in the sand.  Boundaries, actually, are self-care when set and maintained thoughtfully and rather consistently.

A reforming perfectionist, hustling for approval AKA people-pleasing and meeting others’ needs while mine was, well, less met occurred at times.  This didn’t fill my cup when it came from a place of feeling kinda unworthy. 

Hardship’s opportunity was realizing, to my core, that each of us is TRULY good enough and worthy of setting Boundaries.  

“Daring to set Boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”  Truth bomb thanks to Brene Brown.

Beginning with curiosity, reflection, and Gut Knowing or intuition seemed to aid discernment on what’s Acceptable/unacceptable for me.  

I mulled what being seen, heard, respected, and/or loved felt like.  Then noticed what caused uneasy, squeezy chest feeling, lump in the throat, tremulous tummy, or gulps.  The latter was useful in ascertaining scenarios for placing limits.

Slowly practicing in easy situations with dearest or trusted ones where I could have success then gradually moving to set Boundaries in more challenging scenarios worked better.  It’s individual where to Boundary set and what scenarios are easier or harder.  Honoring whatever speed seems ‘do-able’ for this is dandy – given one’s past difficulties, toxic interactions, or trauma. 

If the thought of this topic’s already brought discomfort, pause and take care of yourself.  Later – or even later still, this can be pondered.  ‘Tis always your call what’s best for you.

Boundaries can be Flexible, change, and vary given the circumstance.  Of note, harder situations merit lower expectations.  

Drawing a line can feel uncomfortable or awkward.   Then there’s messing up, overdoing it, or underdoing it.  It helped and still helps me to remember that Mistakes are Practice for doing something better in the future and Process over Perfection AKA imperfection are part of the path to improvements.  

Taking the risk and leaning in to experimenting with this or Acting As If what to do is known can help with Boundary setting and Create new fruitful behaviors.  

Breaks from this process after failing are ok; Boundary sets can be revisited and itty-stepped into – or tried myriad ways.

Here’s other Boundary wisdom I find helpful:

• Setting limits ahead of time is usually kinder, clearer, and more comfortable.  Like ‘I’m Grateful for the opportunity to speak and in 3 minutes I have a meeting’ instead of allowing a call to run long and into a meeting’s start time, having to cut someone off mid-sentence, and rushing late into a meeting,

• Action in lieu of words means less energy spent convincing, cajoling, or debating.  Like leaving a room Silently when being spoken to less than caringly or walking to the car instead of asking repeatedly to depart, 

• Calm brevity in wrapping a discussion for another priority, or when it’s moving into not-so-ok territory, with ‘Let’s speak later’ works well to prevent a deteriorating conversation escalating into messier,

• Assertiveness, which I prefer gentle or subtle alas not necessarily, can inform another what’s ok or not.  When asserting one’s self isn’t done, there is no reason for another to change behavior,

• Limits are generally responded to with increased respect, kindness, or acceptance.  FYI, this may occur gradually,

• Letting another decide what’s best or asking permission to draw a line = people-pleasing. Each individual is their own expert in deciding what limits to set,

• Reinforcing and repeating may be part of this.  I know – not always fun.  It gets easier with practice, and/or,

• “‘No’ is a complete sentence.”  Indeed, Annie Lamott.  No thank you works also.

Confidence and ease increase with experience and rather consistent practice of Boundary setting – or having them set by others with us.  Yes, it goes both ways.  

Boundaries may be mutually beneficial.  For the Boundary setter and recipient.  Drawing lines includes for one’s self – in lieu of judging, controlling, or pushing.  I’ve discovered, if this is an area I need to practice, it’s perhaps an area where others are practicing with me.  There’s a humbler.  

Limit setting occurred for me as worthiness increased and unhealthy people-pleasing decreased.  With an uptick in clarity and understanding, I loved myself more, felt connected to inner wisdom, and felt more ok saying no and creating healthy Boundaries.  Cheers and gratitude to the Divine.  

May you consider Boundaries as an aspect of evolving into an even more splendid y-o-u,


Original Email Date:  July 16, 2021

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