One Woman’s Way To Set Emotional Boundaries + 6 more.

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Nearly each of us has time in our lives, when we need to “set the boundaries” with a particular person. We do it basically… to stay sane, because in the overall picture of wellbeing, healthy emotional (and energetic) boundaries are crucial. Before I’ll talk (or remind you) about the ways we can protect ourselves, I want to share a short story:

Few years ago I worked with Vivian in a regression therapy session, who wanted to find out more about her health problems. Well, this is what she came in with, but during the session she also gained insight into her soul contracts and her family.

There was one family member that was particularly draining and with no apparent reasons Vivian always felt tense around her. In our hypnosis session when Vivian’s subconscious mind showed her another “significant event”, she saw a situation when that woman, handed Vivian a gift. Though she never saw the gifts and “kindness” this way, now Vivian realized that the kindness was faked and the gifts were given to keep her obligated. The gift she saw in the session was a pink belt with shining stones that actually turned to a rope to keep her connected to the gift giver. (subconscious mind can communicate with us thru metaphors). So this is what was happening in her life, in this relation: the moment she accepted the gift she became obligated to the giver (with her time, energy, functions, to be nice, etc); she assumed a weaker position.

You do not need to do hypnosis to realize that, but for this client it was the first time she did. She decided to find a way to refuse the gifts, to change the dynamic and stay in the position of power. This is one example.

How do we set personal and emotional boundaries?

Thru actions, verbal communication or changing your energy about them,  or setting new intentions. Most of us set the boundaries when it’s too late: the boundaries were crossed. If you wait too long, your actions may feel rebellious, your communication abrupt. And you create resentment towards the other, and feel guilt for wanting time or space for yourself. When we realize early in that process that our needs are compromised – it’s better for everyone.

I found the best attitude is to focus on the fact you are doing it for yourself, not against someone else. Sometimes the boundaries are crossed by others and sometimes we cross them because of our emotional involvement.

  1. Redefine empathy. You feel drained and down because of other’s suffering. There is a theory that to have “a heart” means to join others in their suffering, to feel their pain. My ‘Course In Miracles’ teacher gave an example that illustrates why it’s not helpful: when you are in a boat sinking, do you want the person on the shore to join in and sink with you? Or do you want them to help you out?To be truly helpful you see the need, you are compassionate, but you keep your inner light on,  and do what you can to help.OR if being involved is too overwhelming altogether, practice ways of saying “no” in a non-violent, compassionate and firm way. 
  2. Question your motivation. You may have the rescuer and the advocate within. Some of us have an archetype of rescuer and are on a mission, whenever someone is in need. Unless you do it for living, look at what’s happening when you are ”called” to action. You can easily be overwhelmed by something you were not even asked to do. perhaps there is something in it for you, when you are helping. What are your expectations?Same with the advocate archetype. None of the archetypes are wrong, quite contrary, they are necessary part of our world. It’s only when they don’t serve your wellbeing, that you need to question your motivation.
  3. Wake up. Beware of people who don’t listen and drain your energy.  Who make you feel guilty, or make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Make you feel like they are necessary to your existence. Some call them “emotional vampires”. Regardless of what ‘animal’ they are, don’t ignore your intuition when it comes to them, regroup, don’t let them in. Usually you will get an intuitive feeling that they are trying to get close, not because they like you so much, but because there is something in it for them.
  4. Manage the great expectations. Sometimes a dynamic is created between people based on unwritten agreements about who should be doing what. Someone who is stronger than you comes in with expectations and tries to give you orders. Which may happen in a non verbal way. If you are not aware of this, you may actually fulfil them. I invite you to be a little – or  lot – rebellious here. Instead of confronting this person verbally, stop fulfilling those expectations. And see what happens next…
  5. Work with you energy. It may seem in the beginning that nothing really changes, that you are doing some hocus-pocus but it works. In the beginning of a day or before a challenging work, become aware of your energy field, outside of your body: 3 feet / 1 meter or larger. It could be like a light or a bubble, pure, clear, with well defined boundaries. It lets in what benefits and nourishes you, it bounces off negativity, darkness, words  and intentions that could harm you.How you create it? Take in a breath, and imagine the field to expand while your exhale. Play with it while keeping it strong and positive.
  6. Vibrations. Few weeks ago I was lost in the woods in Poland, on my bike, while trying to cut thru them.  It was after the sunset and it was an unfamiliar place for me. The path was steep and I started to feel fear… what was there? Wild boars and who knows what else – of course the vampires! (fear never makes us think straight) The vibration of fear lasted for about 30 seconds. I felt so bad that I forced myself into a vibration of peace and control, realizing that I may attract something bad with the fear vibrations. We also create certain vibes with our expectations.

How are you setting your boundaries? Where is it most challenging for you? Comment below so we can talk about it.

Setting boundaries is self care. When you are taking care of your self,  only then you are ready to build bridges.