INNER ALCHEMY | karen johnson

Redefining Boundaries

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We set boundaries all the time.

We inform people of who we are and how to treat us by the boundaries we establish.

When we set healthy boundaries we are able to create healthy relationships.

 

 

Where we Learn

Our personal boundaries are formed out of our beliefs, past experiences and social and family conscience.

They are guidelines we create to identify what are reasonable and acceptable behaviours for others around us and how we respond if someone steps out of those limits.  These will include physical, emotional, spiritual and psychic boundaries.

Boundaries outline and shape our differences.  It does not mean that we are no longer connected: I might be different than you but that does not mean I am separate from you.

The presence of boundaries is not about other people or external factors, it is all about you and how you hold yourself in the world.

 

Why Define a Boundary?

We all have a clear boundary to the physical world:  our skin.  It keeps our internal organs and processes protected from outside environmental forces.  If we did not have skin we would be vulnerable and defenseless to external attack and pollutants.

We tend to think about boundaries as keeping people out but boundaries are about a sense of self and self-respect.  When we create clear personal boundaries we become aware of our own rights and how we deserve to be treated by others.

If we respect ourselves,
we instill respect in others and
set limits on how we want to be treated

 

 

What are Boundaries?

One of the first boundaries we create is when we are a baby: we are a part of our mother, even hearing our mother when we’re in the womb.    We are at one with our mother and have not yet developed any strong boundary.

In the first few months of life, our mother is our world and we still have a feeling of being one with her… no separation exists.  It’s not until around nine months that the realization emerges that we are a separate being.

If we’ve spent childhood in a dysfunctional family, in all likelihood we have had almost no exposure to seeing healthy boundaries at work.   If our parents were unable to create healthy boundaries it is probable we’ll follow their example and develop weak or non-existent boundaries.

Or feel scared, unsafe and unable to set boundaries that respect our needs.

Transform this pattern by
learning to establish and maintain
healthy boundaries.

A healthy boundary creates an energetic layer, a skin that protects us from violation, invasion, intrusion and non-beneficial forces.  This boundary or energetic field is strong and is at the same time yielding and flexible to soften and open up to what is beneficial for us.

 

Physical and
Emotional Boundaries

A physical boundary is a structure like a fence or a door.  This physical structure indicates where you’re welcome and where you’re not welcome without permission.

It includes your body and sense of personal space and can also define who can touch you and how physically close a person may approach you.

An emotional boundary is similar, but is comprised of energetic structures which are unseen to the eye but can be sensed or perceived through our intuitive knowing.

Emotional boundaries are as unique and individual as we are.  They vary depending on your personal and family conscience, trauma history, and personality.  Our emotional boundaries will reveal much about our inner workings.

Our boundaries delineate how we interact with others and allow others to interact with us.  They are a cornerstone in developing trust and intimacy with other people. When we have weak emotional boundaries we expose our self to being greatly affected by outside thoughts, words, and actions and as a result we can feel battered and bruised.

 

Recognizing Boundaries

Can you ask for what you want?  Are you able to say no?  Are you a people pleaser?

Do you energetically merge
and mirror the people around you

If they’re upset – you become upset; does their opinion become yours? Can you take responsibility for your feelings and your needs?  Do you let others do the same?  Or do you take responsibility for others’ feelings and needs but discount your own?

These questions help you begin to map out and track your boundaries or lack of.   We learn to identify and respect our rights and needs and become skilled at taking care of ourselves, and feeling safe in relationships, something you may not have experienced in childhood.

Whether our boundaries are blurred, trampled, disregarded, or respected they determine limits.

Do we use our boundaries to isolate ourselves or to create connection and relationships?  Do we lose ourselves in them?  Do we shun love or increase our ability to love?  It is really what we do with our boundaries that count.  Unhealthy boundaries lead to depression, anxiety, dependency, and illness.

 

Creating Healthy Boundaries

Establishing healthy boundaries is vital to our overall well-being, empowering, and allows us to step into our authentic self.

Creating boundaries and setting limits you’re safeguarding your self-esteem and self-respect

Recognize the need to set a boundary and do it in a clear, firm, respectful and calm way.

Do not justify, get angry or apologize for the boundary.  Remember children explain and apologize adults take responsibility and own it.

 

When a reaction that is much bigger than the situation calls for; you are most likely overriding a boundary.  Pay attention and listen to yourself and determine what you need to say and then say it.

In the beginning you will probably feel uncomfortable maybe even guilty, selfish, or embarrassed.  Do it anyway.  You have a right to take care of yourself.  Setting boundaries takes a little practice; don’t let fear stop you from taking care of yourself.

 

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Karen works internationally with people and businesses interested in psychological nd spiritual growth and interested in transforming their lives and organizations. 

Karen Johnson 416.732.2661
Toronto, Ontario
www.awakeningheartandsoul.com

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