Is it time to get weeding those borders?
Without clear and healthy boundaries the impact on our lives has the potential to be enormous and yet there are very often underlying fears around both setting them and sticking to them. There are many reasons why we may struggle to do this for example: fear of loss and abandonment, fear of not being accepted or liked, fear of causing hurt or creating conflict. The absence of healthy boundaries will come at a cost, a cost to you and the connections you have. Without having some understanding of this you may unintentionally be compromising your own worth and the likelihood is you will end up shrinking yourself and your needs in a bid to feed your fears.
Weed: ‘A wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’. I am not suggesting that we can’t have fun and go wild and that we should sit rigidly in a box of rules and regulations, I definitely don’t advocate that; I am moreover talking about sifting out the weeds that potentially smother a clarity and understanding of what enhances us and what doesn’t.
Some of the weeds I have personally sifted out of my border are weeds that challenge my self respect and self worth, weeds that disempower my thought process and weeds that don’t sit with my values. These weeds grow around us, principally, because of our early childhood shaping and so the subsequent interactions we then go on to have become influenced and smothered by them. In order to create healthy connections with others it is vital to have healthy boundaries. It’s a bit like getting in a boat without a paddle, it is going to be very challenging navigating your way through the changing currents without a paddle to steer you along. Where there is a lack of clarity and communication, misunderstanding and confusion develops, coupled with the obligatory defense mechanisms: control, rejection, dissociation, projection, reaction. Functioning at that level will create very shaky foundations and it will be difficult to build anything solid.
So what are these healthy boundaries? The really obvious ones to me are openness, honesty, communication, self respect, a strong sense of identity, good self esteem, self reliance, balance and equality. They are boundaries that allow you to stand in your own power and take away the potential to turn to others to fulfill your needs in a more negative sense. They are boundaries that will encourage you to feel whole and strong, and ultimately they are boundaries that, if lived by, will positively impact on your connections with others so that you are free to invite in to your life only those that demonstrate an appreciation for them.
I can not emphasise enough how hugely empowering it is to finally understand that you really are in control of what happens to you, whereby you can make healthy and informed choices and decisions; particularly if your early years were unpredictable and lacked a robust compass to live by with the inevitable fallout leaving you fearful and mistrusting. By developing healthy boundaries there really is nothing to fear or mistrust because you are showing a respect for yourself that will attract the same from others. It may feel a little naked to begin with and slightly alien, and naturally you will most probably come up against some resistance, but have a trust that the right people will honour and respect you and they are the people that count. It is also very liberating to be able to really clear the way so that you can breathe in the air and soak up the sun in order to grow and flourish. It is then that you can start to appreciate and value the undeniable benefits that will come as a result. Perhaps consider that if you choose not to weed your borders you are most certainly smothering and limiting that beautiful cultivated plant that is fighting to get out.