What are Boundaries?
We all have boundaries – rules to govern what makes us feel good, and what doesn’t.
Our boundary is like a fence and on one side is rainbows & unicorns (yes, I like that, that feels good) and the other is lions, tigers and bears (no, I don’t like that, please stop).
I believe we have always had personal boundaries, it’s just a matter of re-learning them and re-building them, as they tend to get tested and torn down often in life. Our boundaries stem from our inner world, social conditioning, values, beliefs & experiences and they often become blurred when we don’t have the self worth to know what’s good for us and when we don’t have the self-love to communicate our truth.
For some their boundaries are non existent, for others they are up far too high to even enjoy pleasure in life.
As a 21 year old I had no idea what this word meant. If you kissed me in a club I probably kissed you back; maybe even took you home if you were lucky.
At 23, if you were an Italian on schoolies in Mykonos, I probably clobbed you across the head because I was drunk and had an attitude.
At 25, I was likely trapped in an abusive relationship because my self-value was so low I didn’t know any different….or how I got in the situation…or how to get out for that matter (true story).
At 27 I will most likely close my eyes, take a deep breath in and feel into my heart whether it feels right.
Because I know myself better, and I know what’s good for me. I have more ’emotional intelligence’.
But not only that; over the years I started to like myself better.
Natural progression? Perhaps, but I have also done a lot of spiritual digging and discovery – some of which I didn’t like what I found, but I loved and embraced it anyway.
Beforehand, if someone said they liked me; I was flattered.
If someone said they saw something more in me; I was taken.
If someone said they wanted me, I was theirs.
I never considered myself in the equation; I wasn’t giving any of ME to ME. Rather, I needed the confirmation from others to fill up my cup. I also needed the intimacy from others; a kiss, a hug, a shag, some energy, a gesture; a text message for Gods sake.
Sayin yes was easy. Saying no was hard.
Before I knew it, I was every ones bitch and not my own…because my happiness depended on other people. My boundaries were loose, as I wanted everyone to like me so would go to large stretches to feed my ego.
I made sure everyone else was OK and felt comfortable, despite how I was internally feeling, even when it came to SEX. I was uncomfortable with others’ uncomfortability. I felt like an energy whore. Giving, giving, giving all the time and no receiving. At least nothing that enriched my being. I became numb. No one was special to me, yet I was special to everyone. I felt on show – like a performer, without the perks. There was a switch that I would flick on around people, then when I was alone, I would flick it off and end up numbing the pain more by drinking and smoking. The next day I would feel the pain even more. It was a vicious cycle.
After sex I would feel empty.
After a date, depleted.
My energy, exhausted.
During a transformational Kahuna Massage session, my healer told me that the truth was, for the most part, I was the same around everyone, especially men. Everyone felt special around me but I never felt special. She reassured me that there was nothing wrong with that as I am an open, loving, giving person but that I need to express my truth so people don’t become led on AND so that I can start loving and caring for myself first, which was totally not evident, as she could see my heart slain on my sleeve.
Through numerous coaching and bodywork sessions she helped me re-align myself both on a physical level and within. She observed that when I physically stood, my heart was totally open and everything spilling out, like I had no protection. I was always on and always open; no boundaries anywhere. My shoulders were open, sacrum open, and I had a huge arch in my back. Anyone could come in, and anyone could go out, as long as you’re giving me what I want – come on down baby! A revolving door!
In my eyes I thought I was just being open and always ready to receive from others. She showed me that actually I wasn’t giving myself any nourishment and was constantly seeking approval and acceptance from others, under the guise of ‘being open’.
She taught me how to hold my body so that it nurtures my essence, holds my spirit and protects my heart. When she found me I was worn out and my heart was used and hurt. When she left me I felt held, safe, nurtured and loved – by me!
This was the first step for me in my healing.
When you touch a hot saucepan enough times, you gradually learn that it’s hot, and that it burns, and that hurts you.
So you stop doing it.
Sometimes, though, you still touch the hot pan to double check that it’s still hot.
Yes. It’s still hot and it still hurts (dahh).
Silly, I know.
Nonetheless. I’ve learnt that just because it’s hot doesn’t mean it has to burn (check out my fav video clip and lyric here). You can enjoy the warmth, but not be part of the fire.
In other words, I have learn that my boundaries come from self worth.
And self worth comes from self love.
And self love comes from self discovery.
There has been a myriad of events that taught me about my boundaries and how to say no…
~ Leaving an abusive boyfriend over 2 years ago
~ Starting this blog (writing is incredibly healing)
~Attending an Unleashing The Power Within event and walking over hot coals, twice!
~ Studying Relationship coaching
~ Escaping the Sydney corporate rat race
~ Alternative healing therapies like Kahuna and energetic bodywork
~ Learning to love my ALONE time
~ Eloping to India to learn Hatha
~ Learning and practising Kundalini Yoga in Bali
~ Following my heart and filling up my own cup and affirming to myself that:
I am worthy.
I am beautiful.
I am loved.
I am enough.
I used to need all this confirmation from a boyfriend, or a lover, or anyone for that matter. However it was all an illusion. I thought I was gaining energy, but actually I was losing it.
This is human nature, and I’m not making myself wrong for this. Being the proud Leo I am, it’s a natural trait for me to seek praise, confirmation and love from other people and be the center of attention and to know how good enough I am.
However it’s only been through touching the hot pans, AND, self-discovery that I have learnt that this confirmation needs to come form within, and hence I can then express my boundaries without.
I learnt that once you start to love every ounce of you…
…every piece of your soul…
…every drip of your essence…
…every inch of your skin…
You can say NO, when it doesn’t feel right.
And even better, you can choose to say YES, and not feel guilty.
And you feel GOOD when you choose either, because it comes from within…not from what you feel you SHOULD do.
Now, I value me.
I love me.
I know I am beautiful.
And I am worthy.
So if I am asked on a second date and I don’t feel the spark, I will say no.
If someone touches me and it’s not welcomed, I will tell them.
If I am asked to go home with a certain someone and it doesn’t feel right, I will politely decline.
On the same token, if it feel good and I am comfortable I will ALLOW myself the delight, pleasure, date or fun.
These are my boundaries.
My energy is precious. This is my message, above all.
At the end of the day, I feel into my heart. I ask my higher self – the best version of Rosie – what feels right for ME, not necessarily feels right for the other person.
I think not, because to give parts of you away that doens’t feel right, or authentic, or true for you, is self-LESS. It takes away. Depletes. Draws energy. And you need that life force to get your shit done in this life.
And to love thyself, is the first step.
So…what are your boundaries?
What do they look like to you?
Are they up too high, down too low?
Is there someone or something you can say no to? Or yes?