“Boundaries make it possible for us to separate our own thoughts and feelings from those of others and to take responsibility for what we think, feel and do.”lifeesteem.org
Good boundaries protect us from abuse and set us on a path toward true intimacy while helping us to take care of ourselves.
Boundaries are strong, yet mostly invisible layers of protection that separate us from others. The layer we know as a boundary can, and should be fluid – adaptable to the circumstances of your life and unbreachable so that when you set the boundary, the person or situation you’ve assigned it to will respect it.
We want to connect with other people – in doing so, we want and need to exchange emotional energy with those other perfectly imperfect, lovable, frustrating, inspiring, and beautiful human beings in our lives.
In your connecting with other people, you have the power. YOU determine how much or how little of your emotional energy you decide to share in any situation and with any person. You also have the power to decide how much or how little emotional energy you will accept from other people.
You are NOT required to accept negative emotional energy from ANYONE.
When someone shares more information than you are comfortable with, tap into your personal comfort level and then take a second to figure out what’s going on with you. If you are not comfortable, you have the power to say “Okay – TMI – that’s all I want to know” or “Okay – TMI – that’s more than I feel capable of hearing.” You’re setting a boundary.
When you refuse – gently or not-so-gently – to answer a question in detail, deciding to share only what YOU feel comfortable sharing – you are setting a boundary.
Why don’t we always set good boundaries? We might be afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, or we’re not comfortable with what might become a confrontation. If you’re not used to standing up for yourself, you can let boundaries slide or let them become weaker.
If you don’t set clear boundaries about what you expect from others and what they can expect from you, you’re leaving the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior open to interpretation. What you see as acceptable must be clear and well defined – and the same requirement is there for unacceptable behavior.
Setting boundaries in any and all of your relationships means that you are setting the tone for how you will be treated – now and in the future. What behavior are you willing to accept? Set the boundary NOW and make it clear – because boundaries unexpressed are boundaries that people feel free to cross or outright ignore.
Establishing your boundaries and having them be respected may take time and practice, especially if you’ve been quiet about them in the past. You have the power to establish the right balance between what is enough – what you’ll accept – and what is too much.
When you feel ready to let down your guard or relax your boundaries, let it be because you’ve gotten to know who you can trust. That may not happen immediately. Your trust is a valuable quality that should not be taken lightly, and your boundaries should NOT be treated as if they don’t exist.
Affirmations to Set and Enforce your Boundaries for Emotional Strength
I’ve included more than the usual number of affirmations for this post because it’s so important that you be able to create the right language for setting and enforcing your personal boundaries. Use the affirmations below as your starting point – read through them aloud, hear the words in your own voice, and then choose TWO affirmations to start or enhance your practice.
Choose one affirmation that feels easy for you to say, believe, and adopt into your daily life, and choose a second one that’s harder for you to resonate with. Give yourself the grace of practicing your chosen affirmations as many times as you need to hear them during the day, and you can also write them down in your journal, listing what thoughts and feelings come up for you as you decide which ones you’ll use consistently.
I have the right to own my feelings.
I have the right to my own space.
I have the right to set and enforce boundaries.
I feel safe and secure in myself.
I am supported and I am protected.
The past holds no power over me. I get to choose who I am today.
I love and respect my feelings and I teach others how to respect me by setting boundaries.
I love and respect myself by setting boundaries.
I will create a healthy space around myself.
I will use my power to create a safe future for myself.
I will honor my boundaries.
I am strong enough to enforce my boundaries.
My boundaries serve me well.
I can be me and I can be loved while setting boundaries.
No one knows what I need more than I do.
My boundaries are my own and others will respect them.