The simple yet complex concept of boundaries.
As my beloved Brené Brown wisely summarises in the following statement , boundaries are one of the healthiest and more loving acts of love, compassion and courage you can do for yourself and for others.
"Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others"
Let's revisit how the concept of "boundaries" has been (intentionally or unintentionally) redefined in our society. Do we even consider having boundaries at all? For most of us, it's only when we feel that our personal space has been trespassed that we ponder about the possibility of setting up boundaries - therefore, it's just when we feel the lack of them that we might consider setting up some.
In my experience, you don't need to wait for someone to invade your space or for you to feel that you have been taken for granted (or any negative given experience) to consider and explore the possibility of them.
In fact, you should consider them as a very necessary line to draw in order to preserve your energy, your life force, your talent to yourself, first and foremost. Only then, you will be able to share.
How come? Isn't that a selfish approach?
Most of us are natural givers, we love helping people and we thrive when we see how out little contributions make such a difference in people's lives. However, we forget that in order to give, we need to have first. And if we don't refill the tank of having, how can we possibly keep giving?
In a culture where is praised being online 24/7 - at work, online, social media....- we are constantly giving, sometimes without even being aware..we feel depleted, but we keep going, maybe because we are not aware, maybe because we might not know that there is another way. Until we burn out. Until our relationships are crashing. Until our self-esteem is vanished.
In order to give, you need to open to receive. And you need to give to yourself first. In the form of self-love, self-care, self-respect, self-preservation.
Regardless of the countless obligations you might have during the day, make sure you have some minutes for yourself - a bath, a cup of tea, a book, a hug, a conversation with a loved one....doing something that makes you feel good, for real.
If we learn to say NO because we are looking after ourselves, we are replenishing ourselves, we are refilling the tank....is not selfish. We are preparing to hold ourselves wholly, before we can start sharing again. It's saying YES to ourselves, to respect ourselves, to love ourselves. Only then we can truly respect and love others.
I'd love to hear your take on this - Do you think boundaries are important? If so, what kind have you set up? And how are they working for you? :)
Have an awesome May ahead