We’re all way too familiar with boundaries lately, thanks to the social distancing stuff that tells us to Stay Back 6 Feet. But those aren’t the only boundaries going on in our lives.
We also have personal boundaries we need to set – and maintain – if we want to remain centered, balanced and at peace with ourselves and others. See where you fit with your own boundaries, whether they’re too closed, too open or just right.
The Wall: Unhealthy Boundaries
The wall consists of a 100-foot cement-block wall wrapped outfitted with electrified barbed wire. Anyone who dares to get too close to it gets shoved away with a shock. This type of boundary is typically built after years of horrible relationships.
It can be erected rather quickly after a heart-breaking incident, with the promise that you’ll never make yourself so vulnerable again. You are always on the defensive, cloaked in armor and ready to fend off anything that comes your way.
Signs you have a wall:
- You’re afraid people will see the “real” you and no longer like you
- You never show the real you
- You relate to people on a largely superficial level, including those you honestly love
The Floodgate: Leaky Boundaries
The floodgate is akin to having little or no boundaries. Your heart is wide open and you pour it out frequently. At the same time, there is nothing stopping from all the outside energy from others pouring right back in.
Here you can feel like an out-of-control whirlwind, just picking up negative energy and other debris as swiftly as a tornado picks up an outhouse.
Signs you have a floodgate:
- You’re afraid to say NO to anything and everything people ask of you
- You change your opinion more often than your underwear to go agree with the masses
- You come home from gatherings exhausted, as you’ve spent the entire time absorbing other people’s energy
A Selectively Permeable Bubble: Healthy Boundaries
A fun way to practice setting up healthy boundaries is to envision yourself in a bubble. It’s a bubble of bright white light that automatically repels any negative energies. Both your mind and heart are open, and you’re able to feel love, compassion and forgiveness.
You’re also open to whatever else you want to let into your bubble – like intimate connections with others – but you get to pick and choose what comes on in and what stays outside.
Signs you have a healthy bubble:
- You understand NO is a complete sentence, and you use it whenever something doesn’t align with your values or desires
- You reveal the real you naturally and with confidence
- You’re able to open your heart and truly love
My default for years had been to build a wall, and mine was a formidable one indeed. I have since learned to soften my edges and open my heart, a process that has also taken years.
Despite my erroneous belief that opening my heart would somehow kill me, I’m still here. I’m also able to truly connect and truly feel – things that make you truly alive.
Contact me if you want help with boundaries. I know what it’s like to live inside that self-made wall.