How to Set Boundaries…Step One

Boundaries"Chaos breeds where boundaries are absent"

Hey you! Yes reading this right now, you KNOW who you are.

I'm going to start this off with a great big thank you. Yes you heard what I said, THANK YOU!

You just keep pushing the limits and this girl (me) has been in dire need of learning how to set the limits in some key areas. So I guess that's why you keep pushing. You are teaching me how to make a stand for myself. You may not even realize what it is you are doing, and it doesn't matter - regardless, you are contributing to my growth.

I guess I like to learn the hard way. Anyways...

Truth is, I think for a long time I don't think I loved myself enough to make a stand for myself. I lived my life "at the mercy" of others...craving love, approval and acceptance - to my own detriment. So much so that essentially I diminished myself and that left me vulnerable (but not in an empowering sort of way). I felt like I needed you to make me whole - complete. Seemingly this feeling of "need" is what can get a person into trouble. I felt like you gave me something that I couldn't find in myself. I relinquished my power and allowed you to call the shots. That age old story I told myself about "not being enough" created chaos and it seemed everywhere I turned I couldn't catch a break. It seemed as though everyone and their dog was trying to take a chunk out of me, to test just how far they could push me...

I've been wanting to write about personal boundaries for a while, but the fact of the matter is I didn't feel qualified. I understood boundaries intellectually and I could most certainly have a discussion with another person about the importance of setting boundaries. I couldn't bring myself to write about it, since that has been an area in my life I would have given myself a failing grade in.

So today I'm ready. Ready to share some insight about this boundary thing...Seems I'm starting to get some practice at it. (Thanks again to all you boundary pushing scoundrels) HA HA!

First and foremost what I've come to realize is this; once I started to care and love myself in equal measure in relation to the people in my world, something started to shift within me. I actually started to care enough about "me" and I raised the bar on the level of  importance I assigned to myself.

It's about choice. To say NO to what does not align with my values and to say yes to what does. Being true. True to myself.

Part of that has been about gaining some clarity and insight into who it is I am, and that has had to do with this thing I like to call "radical self acceptance". What I'm talking about here is recognising, embracing and owning all parts of me. I tried for so long to hide parts of myself, but who was I kidding? The more I tried to stuff that all away, to deny it and repress it, the more it showed up in my life, and you have heard me say it before...there is no hiding!

So to put this all in plain's about being real. Being true to myself and living in alignment with my highest values. It's about Authenticity (my favorite and most overused word lately). It's about feeling free enough that I no longer feel like I need to edit myself like I used to. I've become much bolder, and pretty darn funny sometimes (if I do say so myself). Yes, I've maybe gone a bit overboard, my BFF tells me I've been borderline rude sometimes (if you've been on the receiving end of this rudeness, some feedback would be appreciated). Please know that my intention was not to embarrass or shame anyone, I'm just muddling along this life like everyone else. I'm figuring things out as I go along and funny enough I have some awesome people in my world that have been giving me ample opportunity to practice this boundary setting thing on.

So keep it up, I love you for it!

That's enough for today. Besides, I think it wise for me to stop this at step 1 as there are a few more things I'm in the midst of figuring out and far be it for me to be a hypocrite (I'm trying to put those days behind me LOL). I think it's just a matter of time until I reach a place of certainty and increased clarity about what the next step of this boundary setting is. I actually have a pretty good idea, but some things have to run their course I suppose. Until then, I'll opt in to be the observer before I go out on a limb and risk further alienating any one of you...but know this, you are on my radar!

As with all things... there are consequences for "naughty" behavior. <wink wink>

XO Jackie




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