BOUNDARY: a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line. (Oxford Dictionary)
We are surrounded by boundaries. Maps remind us of the lines that divide lands from bodies of water. Continents, countries, states, cities-- maps show us where they all “begin” and “end”. Blueprints show us the boundaries of our homes, and where the fences should go up between neighbors. Even within our homes, we have specially designated spaces such as “family rooms” and “man caves”. If you sleep with someone, do you find you have “your” side of the bed? If we wanted to, we could go even deeper and explore the boundaries of time, life, space, etc. You get the idea.
Boundaries are all around us.
I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time setting personal boundaries. I’m not just talking about my personal bubble, (although with the state of the world right now and social distancing, that probably should be included as well-lol). I definitely don’t like to make people unhappy. As I have grown in wisdom and understanding, I have learned that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want or need to do for myself, much less others. I’m not going to be able to please everyone. Personal boundaries are essential for our well-being.
Once, I heard a speaker talking about setting boundaries. I remember very little about the speech she gave, but this statement in particular stuck with me:
“By setting boundaries, I allow people to continue to be a part of my life.” With time and experience, I now have come to understand what that truly means.
You see, setting boundaries isn’t necessarily about shutting people out of our lives-- it is about honoring ourselves so that we can continue inviting them in. It is so others will want to continue inviting us in their lives as well. By setting boundaries, we show others how to honor our physical, mental and spiritual selves.We show them how to respect our space and our time. Setting boundaries is important no matter what type of relationship you share with the other person. Boundaries may show up as reminding our co-workers that we are not accepting texts or calls about work on off hours. Boundaries may show up as respecting that our new significant other has been taking an annual trip with a group of friends for years. Boundaries may show up as not bashing your former spouse in front of the children.
If you have difficulty setting boundaries, I encourage you to work at changing it. There is a game I remember from my childhood where someone would draw an imaginary line with their foot, and then turn their backs and dare the other kids to cross it. The person would keep turning around to see how close people were getting to their personal space. I remember as I got older the same kind of line-drawing could arise between two people fighting. Remember those two ominous words: “After school”? That boundary would be drawn meaning that nothing would transpire during school, or on school grounds-- but that after the bell rang, it was on. We might not have wanted to admit it at the time, but it probably was because deep down, we didn’t really want to fight. Stepping over that line made you the aggressor. Hopefully an adult would find out and put an end to things before they could even begin. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn’t like how you were being treated, but rather than saying something about it, you let the behavior continue? Did you find yourself getting angrier about the behavior? It’s time to set the rules about how you want and expect to be treated. Perhaps The Other has no idea that what they are doing is inappropriate towards or unwanted by you. Perhaps you are afraid to tell them because you are worried about hurting their feelings. Again-- you are doing a disservice to both yourself and The Other. It’s time for you to set that “after school” boundary, but with the trust that your “imaginary” lines will be respected and honored.
If you are looking for a kriya or meditation to add to your daily practice that can help with boundaries, perhaps look at The Divine Shield Meditation for Protection and Positivity, or the Kriya for Strengthening the Aura.
Here is to standing in your truth, drawing lines and inviting those we honor, respect and love within them.