This blog, The Singing Soul, is written with the primary purpose of discovering your soul purpose, to live the life you are given as a gift, and the ways in which living that life can be experienced to the fullest extent possible. Little everyday tips to keep you in touch with your calling and big fundamental aspects required to keep steady on the path. I have mentioned in many of my blogs the requirement for healthy boundaries in our relationships with self, family, work and community and realized that while I understand the vital importance of this concept, the foundation of my work life in Mental Health, it is deserving of a blog all on its own. Without healthy boundaries, relationships are difficult and often troubled resulting in a heavy heart and soul.
“The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem.”- Drs. Cloud and Townsend
According to Z. Hereford, “personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feeling of others. Their presence helps us express ourselves as the unique individuals we are, while we acknowledge the same in others.”
We all have a right to our personal boundaries, the space we create around ourselves keeping us healthy and safe. Everything in nature has boundaries. It is necessary for our survival. Simply notice a bird protecting its nest and chicks. Our boundaries help us to understand that other people’s needs and feelings are not more important than our own. The ability to say “no” without guilt fosters trust and belief in ourself. Everyone of us has the right to be who we really are without the pressure to conform to others expectations. Everyone one of us has limits, what makes us comfortable and what makes us stressed. Having healthy boundaries is the understanding of what those limits are in the physical, emotional and spiritual spheres of self. A healthy respect for ourselves and others, our ability to be assertive without violence, self-awareness of who we are and where we have come from, equal distribution of control and power in relationships. These are some defining characteristics of healthy boundaries, boundaries that are necessary if your true self is to emerge, boundaries required to hear and live the calling of your soul.
There are thousands of books and articles written about boundaries and their importance in maintaining healthy relationships with others, vital for living as relationships are the cornerstone of life. When our boundaries are weak or unclear, everyone elses stuff comes in depleting our own energy required for maintaining balance in our life. The following examples are some defining characteristics of unhealthy relationships. If we understand these characteristics, we then can move toward change and begin the process of healing our relationships with self and others.
- inability to say no because you fear rejection or abandonment.
- compromise your own values and beliefs
- rely too much on other people’s opinions and lack faith and trust in your own
- your identity is based on what others think of you
- there is a lack of power in your relationships which should be based on an equal give and take
- you allow yourself to be treated with disrespect and tolerate abuse from others
- you allow others to define your limits and you define the limits of others
- you ignore your own inner voice
- your share personal information openly before establishing a trusting relationship
- you take on others problems as your own.
These are just a few examples in a list of many. I would encourage everyone to do some research on the health of their boundaries in relationships as I have always advocated that knowledge is power. Without knowledge, understanding and the tools, change is not possible. Empower yourself, your relationships, your soul. Speak for yourself and your own truth. Living the best healthy life you can will set you free and give you wings to fly.
“You change for two reasons: Either you learn enough that you want to, or you’ve been hurt enough that you have to.”- Unknown