This is a process that does not happen overnight. There may be moments of understanding and respectfulness from others whom you’re setting boundaries with. There may be moments of defensiveness, fighting, and not knowing if you can continue to be in those same peoples’ lives. The thing is, we’re all just trying to figure out life, something together, sometimes solo, and all of it is valid.
Boundaries are crucial to healing and self-growth. They can also be very challenging and messy to set, especially when we’re just starting out on our journey in figuring out what our boundaries actually are.
When I first started setting boundaries with people in my life, I had all sorts of emotions coming up: guilt for tending to my need before others’ (I used to be a BIG people-pleaser), discomfort from my own internal reactions and others’ outward reactions, confusion in knowing where to even start, guilt for feeling empowered in putting my needs before I tend to others’, more spacious in myself and who I actually am instead of pretending to be who others’ wanted (maybe subconsciously). The more I practiced, the less frustrated I became with others and their pushbacks, the less guilt I felt for putting myself first (although it still does come up from time to time), and the clearer I have become in what my boundaries actually are.
The beauty and complexity with boundaries is they can be different with each person in your life, and you get to decided what feels healthy and nourishing in each of your relationships with all the people in your life.
(Although easier said than done at times) A helpful suggestion for setting boundaries:
-Try to get as clear as possible on what your boundaries are before setting them (write a list, say them out-loud to yourself or someone who can be a sounding board, etc)
-Try to set boundaries out of love and healthy intentions, not out of anger/frustration
-Try to trust yourself and recognize that when/if you do feel push-back, especially from yourself, that it’s more than likely resistance from a pattern you are trying to change
-Try to remember that setting boundaries is a process, sometimes a long and messy one, but it is ALWAYS worth it when you consider you self-healing and growth
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