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February 1, 2024

Boundaries: What they mean and how to figure them out

When we come into this world, we are pure love and acceptance of our beautiful little selves … and somewhere along the way, if we have learned to quiet our voice, we have likely lost track of what we’re okay with and what we’re not okay with. It’s those moments when you look at a situation, or are in a conversation, or are unhappy in a relationship, and wonder “how did this happen?” or maybe even “how did I get here?”

At their essence, boundaries are about knowing and honoring our wants and needs. And if we’ve lost track of what our boundaries are, or are feeling uneasy about something, there is a way to get clarity. If you are wondering why you are feeling uneasy, unhappy, or unimportant, you can ask yourself either one of these questions to help get sorted:

Is this okay with me, or is this not okay with me? Sounds simple, right? When we say yes and want to say no, we are misaligning our head and heart. It feels uneasy and can feel activated and incongruent.

Am I doing this FROM love, or am I doing this to GET love? This can be a kicker… when we choose to do things in order to get love, we are misaligning our head and heart. When we intentionally choose from a place of love for self, we will never resent what we chose, even if it ends in hurt. When we are doing and choosing in order to be loved, it’s self-disingenuous and often ends in hurt and resentment.

Now that we have clarity on how to define a boundary, we may find ourselves more readily stating a boundary. This is where the crunchy part comes in. I have learned that quite often when we declare a boundary or state a feeling, we may find ourselves feeling uneasy and want to backpedal. And I get it, declaring a boundary can invoke feelings of guilt, which often sounds like feeling badly for the other person. This emotional response stems from our habitual wiring.

What I have experienced in regards to “feeling bad” is this: when I know a decision is best for me and why I chose it, I can honor it more easily. When we second-guess our decision or boundary, it’s natural to want to soften it a little, this is the hard part, and where weepy boundaries can come into play. We need to get comfortable with this uneasy feeling and essentially muscle through this uncomfortableness the first time or two. And we can do this far easier when we KNOW this declaration is best for self. And this supersedes everything, especially guilt.

When we prioritize self and honor our boundaries, we pave the way for healthier, more fulfilling relationships built on mutual respect and understanding. It is quieter in the mind too because when we listen to our inner voice, our head and heart are aligned. And this, as bumpy as it may be, feels way better at the end of the day because it is in line with what feels right and good for self.

Have a question for Christina?

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