When I think of boundaries, I see this image of malleable moving parts constantly being pushed and pulled in different directions. Just like many aspects of our lives, our boundaries are constantly changing. We have different boundaries for different conditions of our lives, different people, places, etc. Everything in our lives is separated by categories of boundaries. But are they healthy boundaries? Boundaries are that invisible line we’re constantly referring to, and although different people see that line in other places, it’s up to us to decide where exactly we draw it. And if we don’t draw that line in permanent ink, people will erase the line and draw their own. Do you see what metaphorical point I’m making? Because here’s the thing about healthy boundaries, they let us be intentional with what energy we allow into our energetic field.
Our energetic field is not just the energies or emotions we embody. It is also the field of energy we have invited in; this could be the energy around our job, people we’re close with, family, and so on; where we spend our time and with whom all affect our energy. They influence the way we feel, behave, and even the ways we believe (or don’t believe) in ourselves. So how do we set healthy boundaries? And frankly, why is it important?
Healthy Boundaries = Intentional Energy
Let’s put this to the test for a moment. Take a moment, just a minute or two, and write down qualities of yourself that you love. How long did it take you to write down someone/ something outside of yourself? Did you write down your job or your family? A particular friend or your relationship? As much as these aspects of our lives influence who we are, they do not define us. Because here’s the hard truth, the only person you will spend every single day of your life with is yourself. And as much as people and places and things can shape us, they will never be us, and they aren’t forever. So to know your authentic energy is to know yourself, and we learn a lot of these qualities through the boundaries we create.
Boundaries as they translate to energy and emotions
I’ll say that these topics have become of great importance to me through my coaching. After each call, I take a moment to cleanse my energy so as not to adopt my clients’ emotions and feelings. It can be challenging to create that separation, but having those healthy boundaries is what lets me be cognizant of my true emotions and how I’m feeling. But it’s not just about having those boundaries; it’s wonderful when we can hold space for people in our lives and remain on the side of objectivity. Because the way we’re now showing up for someone isn’t just to be a “yes man” for them, but instead, helping them to look deeper and address more complex emotions.
We’re actually accomplishing quite a bit when we can both hold space for someone and maintain boundaries. We’re showing up for them or something like our job, holding space to be there for them or do our work while not allowing it to interfere with our perception of ourselves or the way we’re feeling at the moment. Our boundaries are what allow us to maintain our energetic balance. They keep us firmly rooted in who we are without going back after something has happened to question: “Am I feeling this way, or is something else a cause for this?”
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The Interference of Outside Energies with Your Own
We’ve all been in situations when friends are going through something, and they have a meltdown with you. Sometimes, we walk away from those situations feeling heavy, even burdened. This is also known as compassion. We love and care for our friends so deeply that their problems become our own. This is all a part of the soul contract we sign at the beginning of life. But, this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t know how to maintain boundaries and remain objective. Because after some time passes and we’re reflecting on our day or feeling like we’re a bit off, it’s most often because outside energies have influenced our feelings. The energy we invite in should be deliberate and thoughtful. We’re all constantly fighting our own inner disposition, attempting to regulate two conflicting thoughts.
Therefore, adopting the energy or emotions of another person or the stress of a work project, for instance, only further influences negative energy. This is why it’s so important to set and know your boundaries. Because here’s another thing. When we lack confidence in who we are and the way we show up in the world, we’re more vulnerable to being molded by other people’s opinions of ourselves. So when/if you lack boundaries, and someone comes into your life to say something negative or manipulate you into believing something about yourself that isn’t true, you’re allowing their energy to significantly impact your own.
boundaries and confidence
The two go hand and hand. If you allow someone to cross boundaries, making you question your worth, value, kindness, etc., you’re allowing your perception of yourself to change. Does this mean we shouldn’t be open to criticism?—Absolutely not. Without the contribution of thought and discussion from others, we wouldn’t grow. However, when we take to heart the opinion of another, so much so that it changes our opinion of ourselves, we no longer maintain control of our energy. By creating healthy boundaries (filling in that blank space on your own), we maintain a strong barrier to being molded by thoughts outside of ourselves, and we remain confident in who we are.
listen to the podcast
Want to know more?
Head over to the Do the Damn Thing Podcast on Apple or Spotify and listen to the conversation on this week’s topic! The podcast is an open forum conversation where we dive even deeper into all that is intentional living.