We hear the voice inside of us say “I think am falling in love again!" and in this moment, some of us run.
We run because we think that if we can avoid the feeling of love, we can avoid the pain we believe is sure to come once the love fades away. “It always does!” we profess. Truth is we are fearful of the pain that love sometimes brings.
For others, we let go of everything that means something to us, as a way of ensuring that the love we have attracted this time will last forever. We convince ourselves that if we can just give up all that is important to us and focus on them, our love and relationships will finally work out! We commit ourselves to no longer speaking up or rocking the boat in any way. “After all,” we think, “what I need is love; everything else is unimportant!”
In both scenarios, struggles like these come from a lack of understanding about our personal boundaries. Both leave us feeling alone, empty, depleted, and shitty! And, might I add, without the love and connection we so long for!
“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.”
I was a bonafide “people pleaser” in my earlier years, and became a runaway bride after that because of the pain of divorce and a broken heart. I lived both scenarios: letting go of my own needs and wants in the relationship, and then running from love to avoid the pain. How about you?
It is not until we learn how to create boundaries for ourselves, that things can begin to change.
You might be asking right now, “What is a boundary anyway?” My simplified version is this:
It is where “I” end, and “you” begin. Let’s take our physical bodies as an example.
Most of us are clear on our physical boundaries: My arm, your arm, my leg, your leg, my lips, your lips.
When there is pain, or something or someone is causing discomfort with our physical bodies, we most often express it, and then take bold action if necessary to stop the discomfort ASAP.
Where it gets tricky is when we bring our emotions into the mix.
Our emotional boundaries tend to get jumbled together, and the clarity about where “mine” end and where “yours” begins quickly becomes confusing, and often a contentious and painful experience.
When we are in relationships with others, very often we take the responsibility for the emotions and actions of others, and expect them to do the same for us.
Many of us have been taught that this is love and the purpose of relationships.
You need to know that this is not love, this is codependence, and it is sure to extinguish the love and passion in your relationships over time.
Unfortunately, when we are in emotional discomfort we tend to ignore it.
We don’t address it like our physical discomforts, and yes, just like unaddressed physical pain, our denial about our emotional pain will create long term consequences if it is not dealt with.
Typically, we struggle with boundaries because we want to be nice and loving. Our association with boundaries is “only the cold-hearted assholes have them” or “you need to go with the flow to be successful with love.”
Our emotional discomforts need to be as important and addressed ASAP. Just like our physical ones.
Do you struggle with boundaries?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to check in with how you’re doing with creating and maintaining healthy boundaries in your relationships:
- Do you have trouble speaking up when someone disappoints or offends you in some way?
- Do you have trouble saying NO to requests from others?
- Do you struggle with asking others for what you want and need to be happy?
- Do you find yourself filled with fear when an upset occurs?
- Do you feel like you walk on egg shells in your relationships, being careful to not upset anyone?
- Do you feel like you give, and give, and give, and your efforts go unappreciated?
- Do you struggle with being truthful?
- Do you freely express your thoughts and feelings to people you’re close to?
If you said “yes” to even one of the questions above, you struggle with creating and maintaining healthy emotional boundaries.
And here is what I recommend your next step is: “Call it out.”
Learn and practice identifying and speaking honestly about your own emotions.
You will become aware of:
Which emotions are actually coming from you.
Which emotions you actually have control of, and can do something about.
- Begin to practice sharing your emotions simply and easily.
Get started creating boundaries by just saying “I am feeling [fill in the blank].”
As part of the download, we have also provided you with a list of emotions, that will help you get clear on which emotions you are experiencing.
**For most of us, this is really challenging and prevents us from communicating them to others.**
Get up close and personal with your emotions, and give yourself permission to speak them.
We have created a step by step check list to get you started now.
Get our download and take the first step for creating nice, loving, but strong boundaries. Why? Because you matter!
You’ve so got this!
“The most valuable thing that happens when we show up for ourselves with love is that we gain a sense of empowerment and a higher level of self-worth. When we give ourselves the love and acceptance that we desire, we no longer have to look for it outside of ourselves, which gives us the freedom to be who we want to be. This will reflect back to us with beautiful relationships that nourish and support us. “