Hi All, I am right now en route to Healthy Living Summit in Boston this weekend. I am excited to meet new bloggers and learn new things that will continue to enhance your Joyful Shimmy experience. I have this awesome guest post that I want to share from a dear friend. I met Heather through IIN. I remember connecting with her at a soul level- I knew she was speaking my language. Please enjoy this post! xoxo LY
Let’s talk about boundaries. I’m not referring to the ones you see on a map to define a state or country. I’m talking about personal boundaries. The ones that, when in place, can empower you, protect you, and deepen your self respect and self-love. The same ones that, when nonexistent or weak, leave you vulnerable, powerless, prone to disappointment, and with feelings of resentment.
You may be thinking, “Wait a minute here, sister! Setting boundaries is selfish. It is a barricade between me and the people around me—I’ll be pushing people away. It’s bitchy.”
I know some of you are thinking that because I used to think the same thing. Growing up I was taught to give and give and give…then give some more. I was taught to be “agreeable,” to cater to those around me, to put other’s needs ahead of my own. Somehow I even came to believe there was a certain “nobility” about that level of selflessness.
Nobility or martyrdom?
Let me tell you where having no boundaries landed me: rehab. That’s right. Over time my lack of boundaries and the need to “please and give” left me incapable of knowing how I felt—about anything. I had spent my entire life trying to “guess” what everyone else wanted so that I could say or do or be that, and literally had no ability to decipher my own needs, wants, or feelings. I only knew this: that my insides felt terrible. Empty. Toxic. Nothing could fill the void that consumed me…but alcohol could numb it.
After nearly drinking myself to death I entered an inpatient rehab to try to get my life back. Guess what I learned in rehab? The skill of setting healthy boundaries for myself. Who knew that my personal descent into hell stemmed from the lack of boundaries! Really? SERIOUSLY? I suppose I was expecting something far more profound…
This phrase changed my life: “You only resent another to the extent you give your power away.” Here’s the deal: having no boundaries means that you constantly give your personal power away. I had to admit to myself that I felt a whole lot of resentment. I felt a whole lot of rage. And after I dealt with the resentment and rage I felt toward others, I was left with the fact that I felt the most rage and resentment toward myself. Because every time I gave my personal power away I betrayed myself. I betrayed my Self. It hurt deeply, and I had no one to blame but me.
Take a look at your life and your relationships. Where do you feel resentment, and toward what/ to whom? Now, honestly ask: “How have I given my power away in that situation or with that person?” What can you do to live your truth in that situation? Sometimes it means we must have a difficult conversation or make tough choices; however, nothing feels as good as knowing you are speaking and living your truth and honoring your Self. Those difficult conversations and choices are worth it a million times over! I promise, you will survive.
As you learn to honor your truth in all situations a.k.a set boundaries, you will find that your self-love and even your ability to love others flourishes in wonderful new ways. This is because you are operating from a place of honesty and trust. Let this be your new mantra: “To my Self I’m always true.” Literally the most selfless thing you can ever do, for you will never resent another again. You’ll have no reason to.
Heather Toone is a board certified holistic health coach and is passionate about empowering women to be their best selves and live their best lives. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org