Updated: Apr 20, 2021
"I learned something important about myself that took a long time to learn. I have boundary issues. I don’t have issues with other people’s boundaries; I have issues with my own. I have trouble setting them, and I have trouble enforcing them. Not being honest with myself about this was only really hurting one person – me."
It‘s not out there. It’s in you.
I learned something important about myself that took a long time to learn. I have boundary issues. I don’t have issues with other people’s boundaries; I have issues with my own.
I have trouble setting them, and I have trouble enforcing them. Not being honest with myself about this was only really hurting one person – me.
This realization came to light when I sought help to overcome grief. I retreated from people as a coping mechanism. The reasons were rooted in my past. My grief made me feel uncomfortable, so I assumed it made other people uncomfortable. A grief counselor, and a spiritual advisor both told me similar things. I was living in fear. I feared losing even more people. I felt it was better to deal with it alone, than risk being judged, or rejected. The solitude was difficult, but it resulted in positive inner reflection and healing.
The fear created by my unhealthy boundaries was a vicious cycle. I had difficulty telling people their words, or actions hurt me. In the past, I adjusted my boundaries for other people’s comfort, at the sacrifice of my own. As a result, I was around some people who did not make me feel protected, loved, or safe. My mum says you teach people how to treat you, and it is true. I now realize if my boundaries make someone uncomfortable, it is their issue, not mine, but it is up to me to set them. I have started to say things like “what you said hurt me,” and “your actions make me uncomfortable.” I have even learned to say NO.
I read an inspirational quote that said, "pay attention to who is in your corner when you are thriving, and who is there when you are struggling. The people who are there for both truly support you." Not everyone in my life celebrated my wins, and my losses. I was told I would likely lose some of my relationships as I began to set stronger boundaries, and it was true. Some people walked away from me. I walked away from others. I have realized most people will stay, even if I have boundaries.
A friend of mine recently told me she doesn’t think the people who are meant to be in our life need to have boundaries set for them, because they won’t take advantage of them to begin with. She said I had never crossed her boundaries, and upon reflection, I realize she has never crossed mine. She is one of the few people in my life I have never had conflict with. She has never said a single hurtful thing to me. She has never talked about me unfavourably to others. I have never questioned her actions. She is someone I can turn to no matter what. She will lead a parade to celebrate my accomplishments, and would set fire to anyone, or anything that hurts me.
The right people will be your greatest accomplices, and co-conspirators, your fiercest defenders, and your biggest supporters. It is my hope she feels I am as good of a friend to her, as she is to me.
It is better to have one person in your life like that, than a million people who are not.
Living my truth and setting stronger boundaries has set me free. I am getting better at it all the time. It is still a work in progress, but having them is no longer something I fear, they are things I trust. They are things I count on because they are in me. They are the truth. They are my truth.