Are your boundaries putting you at risk?
by Trina Hinkley
I had porous boundaries. I leaked all over the place. I gave too much of myself to my husband and my children and sacrificed my needs. I let him trample on me, abuse me and, basically, treat me like dirt. Even for years after I left him, I took his crap.
Until I didn’t. Until, one day, it was enough.
Finally, finally I chose to do what I needed to protect myself and give me the space I needed. I lay down the boundaries of what our relationship would look like, how we would communicate, how he could communicate with our children and what was and wasn’t acceptable to me.
He laughed at me when I did that. He gloated on the fact that he’d pushed me so hard I finally responded. I’m grateful he did because I would probably never have chosen my own needs any other way.
That was more than 15 years ago. These days, I’m still learning. But my voice is so much stronger. More often than not, I state my boundaries and choose to nourish myself while still supporting the people I love and care about the most. I’ve even had people refer to me as a boundary role model!
What are your boundaries like?
Do you feel trampled on? Do people treat you like a doormat, wiping their grimy shoes on you whenever they choose? Or do you feel so scared of sharing yourself that you feel lonely and isolated?
Having healthy boundaries in place is essential for our needs to be met, for us to be able to grow, and to create healthy, nourishing relationships with ourselves and other people.
Some people have such rigid boundaries in place that they’re like the Great Wall of China.
Others have boundaries like chicken wire, that almost anything can get through.
What we need are boundaries that protect us, support our needs and still allow us to meaningfully connect with other people.
Some key things help with this.
First, we need to build a healthy foundation. This includes knowing our rights (including our right to say no), being clear on our values and our desire for privacy, and checking in with our bodies.
When we get to the point of enacting a boundary, we need to know who else is affected, exactly what the boundary is, what’s stopped us from having that boundary in place in the past, how we’re going to communicate that boundary and what we will do if someone oversteps it in the future.
If you’d like to cultivate healthy boundaries in your life, I’d love for you to join me at my workshop. Due to COVID-19 Restrictions in Melbourne, we don’t have a date but you can register your interest over here: Cultivate Beautiful Boundaries workshop