Don’t take it personal.
There came a time when our mutual respect for life and one another got muddied. It isn’t important who might be more culpable or not in fostering the circumstances, the fact is communication broke down. It took two. Please don’t make it personal when my choice is to remove myself.
Drawing lines in the sand with someone really isn’t personal towards them, it’s absolutely about finding the self-importance to not allow anything or anyone to become chaos in your life. That’s not personal, that’s survival.
We typically don’t live in a bubble, we have all kinds of interactions with all kinds of people and circumstances. To not create boundaries would allow people, places and things to run amuck in our presence. A good and wise friend shared with me a priceless mantra that I quickly adopted, I am paraphrasing: We have three options when dealing with chaos in our lives: ” We can change it, we can accept it, or we can eliminate it.” Pretty clear to me.
I’m addressing the “eliminate it” faction of the mantra…. interesting to me is that to “change it” or to “acceptance it” is seen as all that is good and selfless, meeting with approval by most. “Eliminating it” however is seen as evil and selfish, met with disapproval.
Boundaries are a necessary layer to a healthy life and healthy satisfying relationships, but there is no denying that creating boundaries requires skills, and unfortunately those skills are seen as negatives. Sadly so many of us believe we don’t have the right to set boundaries; let alone know how. Knowing when and how to draw lines in the sand means knowing and understanding what your limits are; what you can change, what you can accept, and what you need to eliminate.
Adopting skills aimed specifically at drawing lines in the sand means that you are honoring your self-value enough to get real honest with yourself first, and then with those who you need to draw lines with.
Identify physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits, know what you can accept, change what you can’t accept, or eliminate it.
Red flags or cues tell us that we’re letting go of boundaries, ask what is causing that? Where is the discomfort coming from? It’s a tell when someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable it’s a cue there may be a line being crossed, a violation of boundaries.
Direct and transparent
Maintaining healthy boundaries may sometimes need a more direct communication about your boundaries. There will be people and circumstances that might bring about a need to be more direct and transparent. Just do it. With kindness.
Give permission. Fear, guilt and self-doubt are motivators for remaining stuck, Give permission to trust that we are not meant to be able to cope with any and every situation. Give permission that when we feel drained by the interactions of others and circumstances that we deserve to have boundaries in the first place. Perhaps it would serve us to know that boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. Give permission to set boundaries and work to maintain them.
Self-awareness. An awareness that boundaries are about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries.
Past and present. Family roles can be obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.
Self-care a priority. Give permission to put yourself first so the need and motivation to set boundaries become stronger. Recognize the importance of feelings and honoring them.
Be assertive. It’s not enough to create boundaries, we actually have to follow through. assertive communicating when a boundary has been crossed and establish an “accept it, or change it, or eliminate it” stance.
Getting real honest with ourselves helps foster getting real honest with where our boundaries need to be placed, and to maintain them.