How to recognize and practice healthy boundaries after experiencing trauma.
We are each responsible for creating the boundaries that surround us. Many of us have been taught unhealthy boundaries from as young as we can remember. Today you are being invited to bring awareness to your boundaries. Set the intention to create and maintain healthy boundaries so that you can thrive.
Welcome to Modern Life-Keeping. I am your host, Lori Cristine. This episode will offer examples of healthy and unhealthy boundaries, as well as give you tools to create and maintain healthy boundaries.
Healthy boundaries are a product of a strong sense of self. Awareness of our boundaries helps us to make choices that expand versus limit us.
Let’s discuss some areas of our life where we can create and maintain healthy boundaries.
Emotional: Emotional boundaries allow us to separate our feelings from those of others. For some, particularly empaths, this can be a challenge. Awareness is key as an empath may not even realize they are picking up the emotions of others.
To bring awareness, you might ask “what am I feeling?” “Why do I have this feeling?” “Does it belong to me or someone else?” “Is this my issue or someone else’s?” Learn to listen to your emotions with the intention of understanding what they are communicating to you.
When you have a negative feeling, notice what thought came before it. Do you have an unhealthy dependence on someone else? Are you worried what others will think of you? Do you fear abandonment or hurting someone’s feelings? These are all indications that your boundaries are being tested and you may not be loving yourself first.
To know yourself is to love yourself. Your negative emotions are showing you that you are not in alignment with self love because you are putting the emotional needs of others before your own. Stop. This belief that we should sacrifice ourselves for others is programming that does not serve you. It may have served you when you were a child and you were expected to care for others, but you are not a child anymore.
Poor emotional boundaries manifest as feelings of anxiety, discomfort, fear, guilt, resentment, shame and any other negative emotion you can think of. Your emotions are communicating to you. Listen to them, they are your best friend. These negative feelings are letting you know there is a problem within your system. It is up to you to identify it. A great place to start is to look at your boundaries.
How comfortable we are standing up for ourselves, verbalizing our needs and wants is learned behavior that is taught to us from the moment we are born. Negative emotions are opportunities to overcome this programming and to replace it with programming that is aligned with self love. This is how we heal ourselves. And, when we heal ourselves, those around us heal also.
Limiting beliefs that prevent us from having healthy emotional boundaries include, but are not limited to:
“I can’t be alone.”
“My partner would be devastated.”
“They mean well.”
“I don’t have the time to heal myself.”
“It is easier to take medication.”
“I am not worth the investment of resources in myself.”
“This is better than my last relationship.”
“I only identify as the other half of a partnership.”
Beliefs that expand us include, but are not limited to:
“I am not responsible for the feelings of others.”
“I am accountable for my own emotions.”
“I have no one to blame.”
“No is a complete sentence, and I owe no explanation.”
“I am whole without a partner.”
“I have the power within myself to self-regulate my emotions.”
“I can heal the thinking that creates the negative emotion.”
“I am worthy of investing resources in myself.”
Learn which emotions make you feel expanded and which limit you. Understand what they are communicating to you. Take inspired action steps to overcome negative emotions and the thinking that is creating them. When you have healthy emotional boundaries your emotions become easier to regulate.
Energy: Energetic boundaries relate to how much of our energy we are willing to give to a person, place or thing. It includes who we allow into our personal space and the things we choose to spend time thinking about or doing.
How do you spend your energy? Do you mindlessly surf the internet then wonder where time went? Do you never have enough time? How do you manage your energy? Do you check yourself regularly – scanning your attitude, behavior, dress, emotions, thoughts, etc.? How are you showing up for yourself and others?
You have energetic boundaries when you understand the power of your own energy. They are healthy boundaries when you use them for the highest good.
We also have limiting beliefs around how we expend our energy. You may think:
“I have more to give, so I will give more.” Be conscious of how much you give. Reflect on if there is equal give and take in your relationships? Do you feel balanced? If not, you may be allowing people, places or things into your energy that diminish your personal power.
Another limiting belief is that you must endure because “they are family.” This belief requires strong boundaries and a lot of courage to overcome, but you can do it! Your energy is your priority. Stop allowing people, places or things to take energy from you or to take up space in your life. This is a real boundary our families do not explicitly teach us.
Another limiting belief is that you should “unconditionally love everyone”. While it is wonderful to have unconditional love for everyone, it is balanced when we have it for ourselves as much as anyone else. Toxicity occurs when we have more unconditional love for others than we have for ourselves.
As you continue to get to know yourself you will recognize limiting beliefs more easily as you gain clarity and reclaim power in your life.
Change your limiting beliefs to expansive ones like any of the following?
“I recognize when a person, place or thing drains my energy.”
“I can say “no” to persons, places or things that drain me.”
“No is a one word sentence.”
“I choose how I manage my energy.”
“My energy is my magic.”
Healthy energetic boundaries allow you to use your energy for the highest good and to feel magical. How do you choose to manage your energy?
Mental: People express the most frustration around this boundary. They may complain they overthink, can’t sleep, are anxious, are obsessing over something and so on. Mental boundaries are how we manage our thoughts. Are we in charge of our thoughts or is a monkey up there laughing like a hyena?
You are responsible for what you think. Recognize what you are spending your time thinking about. Ask yourself in the moment “Why do I think this way?” Look for evidence that what you think is true. Recognize a limiting belief hidden below the surface of your thoughts.
Bring awareness to your thinking patterns and make conscious decisions about which patterns serve you and which patterns sabotage you. Choose better feeling thoughts and you will be inspired to take action steps towards expansion.
Before you spend all day doing this, know that you have the power within yourself to regulate your thinking. Choose what thoughts you will think. Choose when you will think about certain things such as work or past pain. Commit to a specific amount of time each day that you will spend thinking about a specific issue or situation. Be just as strategic with your visualizations. If you spend all day visualizing you won’t have the energy to take inspired action. Be in balance in your thinking. You get to decide what that looks like, and you can decide by tuning into what resonates with you.
Limiting beliefs that create unhealthy mental boundaries include, but are not limited to:
“I have to be perfect.”
“I have to solve this problem.”
“These are all my problems.”
“I am solely responsible for the world.”
“It is my responsibility to fix the problems of others.”
“Worrying shows my love.”
“Things are happening to me.”
Expansive beliefs that facilitate healthy boundaries:
“I am perfect exactly as I am.”
“What other people think of me is none of my business.”
“What I think of other people is irrelevant to them.”
“I monitor my thoughts to manage over or toxic thinking.”
“Things are happening for me.”
Mental boundaries that are balanced allow us the freedom to think healthy thoughts. Your thoughts drive your emotions so managing them allows for better feeling emotions. Get to know your thinking processes, and be conscious and strategic about the quality and quantity of your thoughts.
Physical boundaries are created when there is awareness of the abilities and limits of our physical body. Do you exercise too little, too much or just enough? What is too little and too much for you? Do you have a self care routine for your body? How you treat your body is also programmed beginning at birth, it is up to you to use what you have been taught to determine what is in your best interests. Sometimes we are being taught very clearly what not to do, but we internalize it as what to do. You have the power to transform your boundaries.
Healthy physical boundaries include expansive thoughts such as:
“My body is a vessel for my heart, mind and soul and deserves to be loved.”
“My body is a reflection of what is inside.”
“My body communicates its needs to me.”
“My body is unique to me.”
Unhealthy boundaries are created when we have limiting beliefs that include:
“I am not worthy of eating nourishing foods.”
“I grew up just fine eating this way.” How does your body feel? Are you evenly proportioned? Do you have muscle tone?
“I eat what I want.” This assumes what you want is rational and healthy the majority of the time. It also implies mindlessness.
Physical boundaries are an important part of loving ourselves. Too many of us do not have awareness of these physical boundaries and therefore allow unhealthy behaviors such as emotional and overeating, or exercising too much or too little. When you are listening to your body communicate its physical needs, your body will thrive!
Spiritual boundaries relate to your beliefs about who you are. Where did you come from? Do you believe in reincarnation? What are your beliefs about near death experiences? Do you believe in coincidences? Is your life predetermined or do you determine the outcomes based on your actions? What moral values underlie your thinking? How do you find meaning in your life? What is the purpose of life?
Understanding who you are in relation to questions such as these allows you to know your boundaries related to your spirituality. This doesn’t mean you aren’t open to new ideas, it just means the limit of your thinking is the belief. Your beliefs form the boundaries and foundations of your thinking.
Limiting beliefs around spirituality include:
“There is a right way and a wrong way.”
“I don’t need spiritual beliefs.”
“Life should be fair.”
Expansive beliefs include:
“We are in this together.”
“I can heal myself.”
“I have wisdom within me.”
Examining our boundaries is a lifelong process. Awareness is the first step to knowing if our boundaries are expanding us or limiting us.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Modern Life-Keeping with Lori Cristine, brought to you by Keara Kisses.
Having healthy emotional, energetic, mental, physical and spiritual boundaries will create a life that is filled with harmony, love and peace. This is always in your highest good! Visualize how showing up with healthy boundaries will feel! Take inspired action steps towards creating healthy boundaries in your life right now!
For more information on my individual and parenting soul strategy sessions, support groups, retreats and services visit kearakisses.com.
Until we meet again, keep wondering.
These blogs are written from my personal perspective. I have over thirty years of experience investigating, counseling, assessing and understanding the nature of humans. I look forward to creating a connection with you and sharing reciprocal positive experiences, comments and feedback about your life experiences and opportunities for growth. Please feel free to comment below. Positive comments only please.