Over the past couple years my boundaries and I have become VERY close! We’ve weathered through the turbulent love/hate relationship phase and are now in the “I could never live without you!” phase. The years prior to this recent love affair were… well… rough to say the least.
I had always felt a tremendous amount of guilt when trying to place boundaries. Especially when it came to my romantic relationships or family. This was due to a mix of abandonment issues I had that stemmed from my Dad and because of messages from past romantic relationships that I had internalized. I allowed abandonment issues to tell me that if a man is interested, that it’s better to just keep his interest at any cost. I told myself that it was better to do that than to risk being alone and possibly losing the ONLY man that will ever want me. Man, it’s crazy to think that I actually believed that!! How sad, right?! What’s even sadder is that there are so many people out there that live and breath this lie everyday. I bet many of you reading this can attest to that as well.
So many of us have heard messages that say that if we place boundaries that means we aren’t truly capable of loving someone else. What ends up happening is that we come up with the conclusion that we can’t have boundaries AND love… that we have to choose one or the other, while losing one or the other. Well guess what ends up getting pitched? Yep, you guessed it. Our boundaries. Psh…
Do you find yourself giving your personal power away over and over again? Have you made a habit of giving others the power to dictate to you your boundaries based on if they made them feel comfortable or not? How many times have we let someone use the word “Love” as a weapon to weaken our defenses, instead of using it as the healing balm that it should be? In my personal experience it was because of my strong desire for love that I would often put my boundaries on the back burner… the truth was that I loved them too much. I loved them at the expense of loving myself.
I’m currently at a place in my life where I’m taking a close look at my priorities and taking inventory of all that I have going on in my life. I’m looking at what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what needs to change. When things come up where I’m tempted to trade what is truly important to me for companionship, love, or attention, I remember how far my relationship with my boundaries has come. I’ve wasted too much time internalizing someone’s need to validate themselves, while invalidating myself. I have come to see that love and boundaries go hand in hand. Setting a boundary doesn’t always mean that it’s because of something someone else is doing. It could be something YOU’RE doing that just doesn’t sit right with you, and you know it can’t play an active role in your life anymore. Boundaries don’t even point to something being “wrong” or “right” but maybe something just isn’t “right for you.” Setting a boundary says “To love you better I must love myself first. If something is going on that is threatening my sense of self-love, then it also threatens the love I give to you as well. I love us both too much to see that happen”.
Boundaries don’t keep you bound or restricted. They actually set you free to love with abandonment, because you are no long bound to something or someone by fear of loss. Our fears are like weeds in our soul… they choke out all the beauty that’s trying to flourish. The beauty of love begins with you…
Yours Truly, Andrea