Boundaries Set You Free!
This is a hard one for me, my natural instinct is to Resist anything that feels restricting. And Boundaries, at first glance, seem restrictive. However, I have come to see that when I create and uphold Boundaries it is actually Powerful and Freeing. Boundaries allow me to take charge of having my needs met. They put the Power in my own hands, not someone else's.
When we don't set clear boundaries, we just expect others to see what we need and then, if they don't see it or don't respect it, we become resentful and blame them. We give our Power away and become victims, at the mercy of others. Then, we often even become upset or angry with them because they did not see our need and attend to it. Sound Crazy!!! Here's an example of how I do it, maybe you can relate?
I am committed to giving more of my time to my work. I have a new business that I want to get off the ground and running and it needs more of my time and attention, time that I have been giving to my kids, my husband, my home, my dog, etc. So, I recently told my 10 year old daughter that she had to start cleaning up her own dishes,
Boundary set -I no longer clean up her dishes. So, when she is in a hurry to get to school, what does she do? She leaves her dishes. I work from home, so I see them, and almost clean them up,
but...wait... What about the Boundary I set?
This is a test for me, right, because I do want the dishes cleaned up now. However, if I clean up her dishes, I will later tell her something like this, "You didn't clean up your dishes, I told you you need to do your own dishes, why don't you listen to me, I can't keep doing everything around here(most likely in a harsh or yelling tone). She will just tune me out and become angry and probably lash back at me, and our chance for a real connection will be gone. On top of being upsetting, there is much more going on underneath the actual interaction. I will teach her that my boundaries mean nothing. I will teach her that she also should not set and uphold boundaries(because our children learn to be Just Like Us). I will also begin to blame and resent her for not doing what I ask of her(not upholding my boundary), which will cause passive aggressive behavior tendencies between us both. Wow! there's a lot going on behind boundaries!
But, if I uphold my boundary, leave her dishes until she can clean them up, and simply remind her after school that she needs to clean up her dishes, she will just do it. She will also learn that my boundaries are firm, and that she must respect them, therefor teaching her to set firm boundaries around her needs(Remember, kids will be like we are). Also, she will eventually just do her dishes, without being told.
See, once the boundary is set and upheld, my daughter and I are free to love each other and enjoy being together without any resentment, resistance, or power struggles getting in our way.
Boundaries are about You standing in Your Power, power over yourself, not power over others. You just state your need and what you are and are not willing to do and you stick by it, no matter what response others have. Boundaries set you Free because they allow you to be yourself, without all your "stuff" getting in the way. By setting and upholding Boundaries, you give yourself a safe space where you feel free to be your True, Loving, Magnificent Self.