Boundaries (Part 1)

Boundaries. This is a topic that could take months to explore, and we would still not be done! There are so many things that connect with this concept, so many ways in which our boundaries show up, don’t get honored, make our lives better, impact our emotions, create our community … it’s something that touches everything.

And it’s not just our own boundaries I’m talking about; it’s other’s too. I mean, we aren’t the only ones thinking about this, right? Everyone we cross paths with has an experiencing and a valuing of boundaries in their own lives as well.

So – you can imagine that this whole thing can get pretty complex.

To start us off, then, I think it is important to just identify and explore some basics. Define and understand.

As a side note – please be patient with yourself as you explore these concepts and assess how they do or don’t show up in your life. Identifying your boundaries is a skill, sharing them with others is also a skill, and enforcing them is yet another skill!

In other words, we aren’t born with this information. We have to learn it. I encourage you to give yourself a high five for getting curious and starting to investigate where you are in this part of your journey toward your power.

First, there are different types of boundaries around different parts of our lives. These include:

  • Time – how much of your time do you make available, and for what?
  • Materials – what do you buy and what are you willing to share?
  • Physical space – how physically close will you allow others to be with you (including sexually)?
  • Emotion – how much separation do you have from others’ feelings versus how much do you take on?
  • Conversations – what topics you are open to discussing, and what is off limits?
  • Consumption – what do you allow into your body (food/drink) and mind (social media/news)?

There are also different styles of boundaries:

  • Rigid – these are your non-negotiables; things that you will protect and preserve no matter what.
  • Porous – these are loosely held lines; they can be easily overridden based on a situation or interaction.
  • Healthy – these are boundaries that allow for valuing and respecting Self; these are offered clearly and enforced consistently, resulting in a safe, balanced, and healthy relationship with Self and others.

So, a boundary sets the basic guidelines for how you want to be treated.

Boundaries are basically about providing structure,

and structure is essential in building anything that thrives.

– Henry Cloud

Why is knowing all of this important? Because without an understanding of what a boundary actually is, you will have a challenging time expressing and enforcing them in your life.

I’ll share more in subsequent posts. For now, here are some resources for you to explore and dig a little deeper:

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