Having healthy boundaries is like building a lovely little fence around your life. But for most of us in recovery, the concept of boundaries is very new.
We often had limited or non existent internal boundaries or personal boundaries and most often, we were not honoring the boundaries of others.
Learning to set boundaries begins with total honesty. You must first get honest with yourself and then practice honesty in every area of your life.
This allows you to build integrity from the inside out.
Something I notice often with those in early recovery is that they either have loose boundaries (allowing anyone to pass through) or solid wall boundaries (no room for growth).
I love a fence analogy when it comes to boundaries, so that is what we will use here…
Loose boundaries: can be crossed easily through the openings or over the top
Stone wall boundaries: impenetrable. Won’t allow for movement or growth. Can cause isolation
Healthy boundaries: Allows for you to see through the slats and decide who is allowed in. Room for growth. Good height and adequate protection.
I often notice that those who have loose boundaries are also attached to a victim mindset. Taking off those victim goggles will definitely help you see things clearly.
We teach people how to treat us by what we allow.
And what we allow is what will continue!
Here’s a little truth bomb for you:
You are 100% responsible for your own life. This includes whom you allow in it, and what behaviors you are willing to accept.
If you would prefer to not constantly live in resentment, then I encourage you to take some action.
Setting healthy boundaries begins with self awareness. Sit down and make a list of things that you would like to change about how others treat you. Then I challenge you to look at that list and see how many of those behaviors relate to you.
My first list included things like: I hate being judged, I dislike gossip, I don’t like being lied to.
But when I did a personal inventory, I was the one judging, many of my relationships were based around gossip, and I had lied to pretty much everyone in my life.
The process of change starts with you. Make changes in yourself and watch how it changes the world around you.
Now the hard part: setting boundaries with others.
As you begin to honor your personal space and your time, you will notice that some people around you will not be happy with your choices.
They may have liked that they could ask you for favors all the time knowing you would say yes. Or that you were the one to call with the latest gossip. But as you slowly back away from these behaviors, you will grow exponentially.
This is one of the ways that you show up for yourself in life. HONORING your own needs.
You may lose some people in your life and that’s OK. You will begin to attract other people who are trying to live their best lives and those people will become your new tribe.
Work on strengthening your internal boundaries by staying strong in your convictions and then it will be easier to set external boundaries.
You will be so happy when you have built a lovely little fence around your life.