A big focus of the type of therapy I do has to do with having healthy relationships. The theory goes that by having healthy relationships we can become personally empowered and healthier. Relationship empowerment equates to personal empowerment. And vice versa. This is not just about our closest of relationships but about all of our relationships- our spouses to our kids to our bosses, co-workers,friends and acquaintances.
While there are many concepts and tools that help with healthy relationships, focusing on healthy boundaries may be one of the more important.
A boundary is a sort of guideline that you set for yourself. Not necessarily a limit- this is what we do with other people. Think of a boundary as being able to decide what comes in and being able to decide what goes out from our person. A distinction of where you end and the world begins. And while the concept is intangible, the practice to achieve a healthy boundary has a very practical application.
You don’t have to take in every word or action and let it roll around in your mind, dominate your thoughts and sour your mood for a day or two. You can ask yourself- Do I need to let that in? Is this true for me? Is this my stuff to own or is this their stuff? Or is it some combination of the two?
By asking ourselves these questions, we do not automatically take in everything around us. We can learn to evaluate and discern what is really relevant to us, developing a protective boundary around ourselves that ultimately lays the groundwork for genuine connection. When we don’t have this protection we get exhausted, we can feel taken advantage of, less than others and ultimately resentful.
So before reacting to what is going on around you. Take a moment to ask yourself- Do I need to react to this? Is this mine to own? Maybe you need to take some of it in-to change and grow but let the rest splat off our protective boundary like a bug on a windshield.
Have a connected and protected week!