BY SHEENA BLAKE
Are you a person with boundaries? Or, are you a person who is often feeling taken advantage of? I rarely speak in such dichotomies, but today’s topic, creating boundaries has to do with one or the other, either you have them or you don’t.
When I first began learning about boundaries, I didn’t have a single one put in place. Mind you, I truly believed that I did, and had you asked me, I would have sworn up and down that “no nonsense is tolerated in my world”. At this time in my life, boundaries meant that I would secretly cuss (in my mind) someone who annoyed me. I would go home and cuss my family, or go home and talk smack about people who ticked me off.
I spent all of my twenties living this system of “boundaries”. Needless to say, it didn’t work well for me. And then, one day, after having a real altercation with another person, feeling how fast my heart was beating, going over and over my choice of words in my mind, wishing that I would have articulated myself better, I finally realized that I needed boundaries.
I learned, from a wonderful book, ‘One Day My Soul Just Opened Up’ by Iyanla Vanzant, that boundaries are about drawing lines in the sand that represent things that will be accepted in one’s life and things that will not. This sounds so simple, yet it makes so much sense. But, the trick is, how well do you know yourself? Boundaries are about being clear about what you want and what you are willing to accept in your life and what you are not willing to accept. They are about saying ‘no’ (without feeling ‘bad’), saying ‘yes’ to the things we desire and moving away from things that bring us physical, emotional or spiritual pain.
I’m sure many of you reading this right now are thinking that you have clear boundaries, and if that is the case, then I am glad for you. Living without them is quite painful. However, if there is the slightest chance, or if this article triggered you in a way that you wanted to resist, I offer that you take a deeper inventory on the things that are taking place in your life.
Where are the lines drawn in the sands of your life? Are they clear? How willing are you to draw some?
Use your heel; it works best.