How to Set Boundaries in a Relationship
Before you can set healthy boundaries, you need to do this ONE THING!
Why are we terrified of asking for what we want and need? Why would many of us prefer a root canal over asking for our needs to be met, or saying no when we don't want to do something? What stops us from speaking up and setting healthy boundaries?
I think you know the answer - fear.
"Fear of what?" You might be asking yourself. "What can I possibly be afraid of that keeps me from saying no to bringing 16 dozen cookies to the school fundraiser, or asking my spouse to stay home with the kids while I have a night out by myself?"
Come with me back in time. Thousands of years ago, we lived in tribes that determined whether we lived or died. Fitting into our tribe literally kept us alive. If we were kicked out of the tribe, we had to either find a new tribe (not likely) or survive alone (even more of a long shot). Not belonging to a tribe meant almost certain death.
Fast waaaaaaay forward to present day and we STILL have those driving needs to belong. If you say no to bringing 16 dozen cookies to the school fundraiser, you risk not being liked. If you ask for a night out by yourself, you risk upsetting your spouse. Our fear of not belonging is all too happy to keep us in our old people-pleasing patterns, because our fear is there for one reason - survival.
Don't blame fear, it's just doing its job, which is to keep you safe and alive. The problem is, we let fear take the wheel, and then develop other side-effects (anxiety, depression, anger, people-pleasing...). We weren't made to live in fear, we were made to use it. Take the useful things fear gives you and leave the rest.
Easy-peasy, right? Just stop living in fear. Lesson learned. Book closed. Topic mastered.
We get into patterns of overriding our needs and our commitments to ourselves. When this happens, we are on auto-pilot, letting life happen to us instead of living in each moment. I'm going to give you the secret to taking your life back, taking charge of your actions, and living happy and fulfilled (because boundaries help us do that).
Are you ready?
Here it comes.
When you don't believe you deserve love and compassion, you won't set boundaries.
If your mind isn't blown, that's okay, I think this is something you probably already knew (even if you didn't realize it). It's funny how truth works that way.
When you believe you deserve love and compassion, simply because you exist and without any prerequisites, then you will set all the boundaries you need because you are no longer AFRAID of NOT BELONGING. You are living in your authentic truth. Do you want to live in your authentic truth? Me too.
So, take this key I'm giving to you and use it to unlock the gates of empowerment. Get your heart centered in love and compassion for yourself, then for those you love and have relationships with. This will be the start of your ability to set healthy boundaries because the fear and guilt go away. When you honor your authentic truth through self-love and compassion, your soul is set free.
So, here's where you start. It only takes five minutes a day.
Carve out some time (this is critical) where you will sit and breathe deeply EVERY DAY. Sit in a comfortable position, breathe in, filling up those lungs, while thinking or mouthing the word "So". Then breathe out, really emptying out your lungs, while thinking or mouthing the word "Hum". Continue doing this for the entire five minutes.
So - Breathing in, I give love to myself.
Hum - Breathing out, I send love to the world.
This is your reminder that your purpose is to get closer to love—and to start by centering into your heart and giving yourself some extra care and compassion.
After one week, you WILL notice a difference. Keep going, adding time to your meditation as you get more practice. Send me an email, and let me know how this meditation has impacted you, or share others you have tried that work for you. I'd love to hear from you.