How To Set Healthy Boundaries And Attract The Right Relationships
I’m a recovering self-abandonment-oholic. It is only because of deep healing, massive amounts of self-compassion and self-love, that I can now say this with a smile on my face.
When I realized that a great deal of my pain and frustration in relationships was due to poor boundary setting, I went out looking for someone to tell me when and how to set healthy boundaries. I actually asked Google once, “how do I set healthy boundaries?” Needless to say, Google and pretty much every other resource I looked to fell short.
The problem was, I was looking for something to assure me that what I believed to be healthy and respectful in relationships was okay.
Setting boundaries isn’t just about saying no. It isn’t about making someone believe they are wrong or insensitive. It’s about knowing what your standards are, and that what is healthy for you is good. . .is right.
It’s knowing that what your heart is telling you is your truth.
Too often we set boundaries as a way to prove to someone that their behavior is bad, or disrespectful, or with the hopes that they will agree with us. We get flimsy and weak when they get mad, or when they don’t see our truth as their truth.
We want them to agree with us and like us, so when they leave or push back we crumble. We start to doubt ourselves and backslide.
This sends out a chaotic message to the person and to the universe. It says we just kind of, maybe sort of, know what our standards are but we are waiting on someone else to validate them.
As a result, what we end up experiencing is people and situations that test our resolve; that show us where are gaps our.
These people will continually disrespect our boundaries or try and make us feel bad. We think its about the other person’s poor behavior, but really it’s a message, a sign – get clear on what you know to be healthy for you, and make that enough.
I understand first hand the feelings of loss, abandonment, and not feeling good enough that can come along with someone leaving or getting mad at me when I first stood up for myself.
I understand the frustration of just wanting someone to see that it is their terrible behavior that is the problem; but the fact of the matter is – it was my lack of self worth and self trust that were the issue.
For some people being self centered is how they survive in their world. The question becomes: is the lack of respect enough? Are you okay with contorting yourself, your integrity, your values for someone else?
The irony is that in taking ownership of how bad I was at honoring what was healthy for me, I realized there was no way someone else could respect and honor me If I didn’t first do it myself. I couldn’t expect a person to treat me with respect and dignity if I didn’t treat myself with respect and dignity. If I was flimsy, of course someone would continually push boundaries and ask me to put up with bad behavior.
When I got clear on my standards and started acting in ways that were more loving and trusting of my own inner knowing; when I said what I believe in is enough, I gradually grew more comfortable with standing for what was truly healthy for me.
When I stopped letting limiting, fearful, thinking run the show, I stopped settling for anything less in relationships. In changing how I was treating myself I was actually becoming the exact match for what I wanted to experience in relationships.
I actually don’t have to set healthy boundaries anymore, because the people in my life are mirrors of the love, value and respect I now give to Self.
It really is that simple.
It may not be easy at first. You may feel uncomfortable and maybe even terrified. But I promise, all the pain that comes up is just a message that it is time to do this work. It is time to be your own hero, your own advocate, your own source of Love.
Light and Love