Boundaries – you love ’em or you hate ’em, right?!
For a long time, I was in the hate ’em camp because I didn’t understand the value of clear and healthy boundaries. The truth is that boundaries require us to be super honest with ourselves about what is not working, and that can be really hard to do.
It’s easy to get sucked into the thought that “if I don’t create a boundary, then I don’t really have to hold myself accountable for enforcing it and standing up for myself.” But because you read this blog, you’re working toward being a person who holds herself accountable to who she says she is and what she says she desires, right?!
So here’s what clear boundaries look like. We still have the world and all the things that are going to tempt us in all the ways, but we have this vision of ourselves that is so clear that we must put boundaries around this vision of our best and highest self so we can protect it
Our best and highest self knows who she’s becoming, what she stands for, and what she’s willing to tolerate and accept. And in order to protect that, we need to be aware of where our attention goes. We need to to be aware of our behaviors. We need to check in with our inner child’s needs. When we’re protecting these pieces of ourselves, we’re actually creating a fence around our best selves.
Boundaries are not only one of the best forms of self-care we can give ourselves but one of the most loving things we can do. And that’s the key to boundaries: they must be set with love. Boundaries must coexist with love and compassion.
When you’re a person who has really strong boundaries, you can be the type of person that no matter how the world is showing up or how things around you are going, you can hold your boundaries and be ok.
And when you’re trying to decide on whether you need to set a boundary, it can always come back to “Does this choice reflect who I desire to be at my highest or at my best?”
So here’s a framework to go through when you’re faced with the temptation of whether to hold a boundary or not. You want to take a B.E.A.T.
If you’re trying to decide if you need to set a boundary, you first want to check in with your body. Make the choice to set the boundary in your mind, and then take a moment to feel into your body. Close your eyes and take a second to notice how that decision feels. Our bodies hold so much untapped wisdom. Does it feel good? Does it feel productive? Does it feel safe? Or does it feel wrong? Does it feel like you’ll regret it?
Ask yourself, “how will this decision affect my life and those I care about most?” This is a game-changer in and of itself because the moment you do tune in to how the boundary will affect your family or kids, you get that gut reaction about what’s truly right.
Is this boundary aligned with the highest and best version of yourself, or is this low-hanging fruit that the old version of you wants? Is this boundary going to pull you closer to this new, highest self that you know you have within you?
Will my future self – will future me in a week, or a month, or a year, or 10 years, thank me for making this decision and setting this boundary or will I regret this?
A boundary isn’t always going to feel comfortable. So don’t confuse a good healthy boundary with one that is easy or comfortable. Especially when the boundaries we’re setting are with other people.
The truth is that if done in love, we can create solid and powerful boundaries with the people in our lives, without having to hurt anyone.
Here’s my 4-step framework to setting solid and healthy boundaries, with love:
1. Ground yourself in love
Before you set any boundaries, I want you to get to a place where you’re centered in love. Find your highest self – that rational place of calm, compassion, and courage that’s inside you. This is the place from which we want to be communicating boundaries.
Center yourself in love and take a few breaths. You can put a hand on your heart, you can close your eyes, and just take a few deep breaths to regulate your nervous system. And bring to mind the person you want to set the boundary with.
You can think of good memories you have with that person, you can say a quick prayer for them, you can send them love, you can visualize hugging them. It’s creating that loving connection. Getting to a place where love will lead your communication in setting the boundary.
Take note of how that feels right now in your body. Are you feeling compassion towards that person? Are you feeling connected to them? Are you feeling confident and courageous in setting the boundary?
2. Get clear on the boundary
The clearer you are about your desired boundaries, the better it will be for everyone involved. If you’re kinda wishy-washy, you’re going to give mixed messages which can leave everyone feeling frustrated.
When you’re backed in love because of step 1, you can trust that whatever you say will come through you with grace and compassion and love, so communicating with clarity in love will allow the other person to really understand what you’re asking for.
3. Release the other person’s response
One of the main reasons we avoid setting boundaries is because we want to avoid upsetting people, right? Here’s the thing, energetically, the other person is going to sense your need for a boundary, whether you set it or not.
So you’re doing everyone a favor, by being clear and then letting go of their response and speaking up for your needs. And trusting that when you express your request for a boundary with love and clarity, you’ll be doing both of you a favor.
4. Be patient with the process
The other person might override the boundary at first, but you can be patient in the process and speak up for yourself reinforcing the boundary when you need to. Allow yourself to trust that when you set a boundary with love it will be honored, and if it’s not, you’ll do it again. And if it continues to be breached, you will have the strength and courage to walk away. Because that’s another boundary!
I want you all to take a pause, and notice what’s standing out for you from today’s post. What’s really resonating about the importance of setting boundaries? And let that revelation or new insight really settle in. Ask yourself – what am I wanting to start practicing from this post? And do that intentionally before you move on with your day.
And I want to hear it – will you please share it with me? You can send me a DM at @michellegrosser.coach or even better, you can post your takeaway to our Facebook group, The Motherhood Village. And if you’re not a member of that group yet, get in there! My team and I are about to release a ton of new resources and guides and programs for the moms in that group, so you want to join so you don’t miss it.
Tell me in the comments, what’s a boundary you’ve set that has really changed your life for the better?
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