Women are beautiful creatures of selflessness. We give love, nurturing, patience and wisdom. We share our lives, we seek circles of belonging, and we often place the needs of others above our own. The problem with such acts of noble kindness is that sometimes we find ourselves in undesirable situations. It can be challenging to assert boundaries and stand up for what we want, and what we believe.
What are Boundaries?
Boundaries can be physical, psychological, or behavioural. Physical boundaries are obvious: these relate to touch. It is comforting to receive a hug from a close friend, but a stranger touching us is inappropriate. We may step away when someone we do not know enters too closely into our space. Psychological boundaries are the limits we place on ourselves and others. This relates to sharing personal information and exploring our psychological issues. Behavioural boundaries are the actions and traits we do not accept with others. The creation of boundaries can be affected by our cultural, religious, or social backgrounds. Such influences may add assumptions to our interpretation of boundaries.
Understanding our boundaries is very important as the violation/ respect of boundaries relates to trust. In a relationship (romantic or otherwise), the issue of trust is paramount.
What is the Purpose of a Boundary?
Boundaries are not force-fields, or ways to keep people from ever knowing the real “you”. They are the “spaces-between”. We all need space between ourselves and others. This allows for comfortable action and feelings of safety.
These feelings of safety and security come from accepting that setting healthy boundaries is an act of self-love. And, to live as an empowered woman we assert ourselves and protect our interests and needs.
How Do Boundaries Relate to Self-Love?
We have all heard the saying: “To truly love, you must first learn to love yourself”. This makes a lot of sense. Yet it is often taken out of context. The act of self-love is a HUGE practice that involves knowing why we do the things we do. To set your boundaries and make them insurmountable (protecting yourself and empowering yourself), you must define the objective. When you know, understand and accept, you can welcome love. And when you love, you will fight tooth and nail to protect that.
Asserting boundaries is essential to developing a strong sense of self. We use our inner wisdom to sense incongruence and we draw on our inner power to act. We then approach life in a new way: a loving way. We see the truth- the light and the shadow. And by acknowledging all the facts, we can choose a life of grace and love. That is, after all, the life we all deserve.
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