Boundaries are ‘made up’ – yet vital for a happy story…what do I mean? This is such a vast subject. and I will touch on just a few aspects here. Healthy boundaries are vital for happiness in life, perhaps especially in the realms of family life and intimate relating. Boundaries change over time and in different circumstances. They develop out of consciousness of how life events and the energy of ‘others’ is affecting us. Perhaps something violates your integrity or sense of ‘self’ so a choice can be made to communicate your need to experience something different on another occasion. Or perhaps you come to realise that clarity about boundaries can give you more freedom to explore what seems like risky territory in life or in a circle.
A boundary is simply a chosen boundary about what behaviours and exchanges are ok for you in any given situation, this is what I mean by ‘made up’. A boundary is not a matter of opinion, or of what is right and wrong, for changing by someone when they feel like it, EXCEPT when it will be via a process of CONSCIOUS, clear negotiation WITHIN a relationship or connection. That is always an opportunity to be curious about, and open to learning from, open to being transformed by, the feedback you find challenging, rather than being self-absorbed in your own feelings about another’s responses.
In the setting and maintaining of clear boundaries, you can feel free-er to acknowledge what you want and let yourself have it. Having a clear sense of healthy boundaries is a statement of and reminder of our worth, it enhances well-being, and, crucially,it expands our availability for love.
Boundaries could be described as masculine. They hold strong feelings or experiences safely. They allow life’s busy activity to be clearly focused. We have only so much energy each day. The clarity for boundaries is found and maintained in the fiery centre of the solar plexus. This energetic centre is about power. if we cave in here, we give power away to events and others. If we are alive and clear here, choice and decisiveness is seen as freedom, rather than limitation.
The invitation of dilemma, choice and conflict is to pierce appearances and come to the direct knowing of the innocence of all things. A seeing through the surface appearance of imperfection and duality. It may seem paradoxical that clear boundary making comes from the illumination of boundless natural freedom, out of essential oneness.
How past wounding can affect your capacity to know or maintain boundaries
- Any personality will tend to dismiss the being’s need for boundaries and dismiss another’s boundaries too, because the conditioned self will do anything to fulfil its own wants and justify this by judging that their own or others’ deeper needs and values don’t matter.
- The body has a natural wisdom. If this has been distorted by abuse then it can take some time to know whether the natural wisdom and intelligence it has is what is being responded to, or whether other conditionings and shoulds (the desire to conform, the desire to impress, the fear of what someone might say or feel about you, the confusion about feeling ‘wrong’ etc) are being enacted.
- Hurts that have not been dissolved through healing communication can build into longer term frustrations and then sabotage relating happiness or work effectiveness
- Deeper wounding or trauma may have happened in childhood. If you learn when young that your boundaries were not heard or not respected. it is likely that several consequences can come from that in adult life. Some of these consequences can be
- You may become over controlling, even aggressive about personal space and may become isolated because you cannot stand the mess of life and others’ unconsciousness
- You create relationships and family situations in which the pattern of abuse is apparently repeated despite attempts to ‘never let that happen again’- your boundaries are over-ridden so that there is a sense of discontent which can range from subtle unease to deep trauma when you interact. Clear guidance can be needed in order to take the real learnings and avoid simple repetitions or re-traumatisation.
- If there is abuse/abuser or victim/aggressor in the history the strange, astounding accuracy of projective mechanisms can re-create situations, so that they can be recognised in consciousness and healed. Awakening work allows you to learn that happiness means you are required to take full responsibility for ALL circumstances and choices
- You may dislike or misunderstand or judge those who are clear about boundaries (projecting the old unhealthy authority figures onto them) and find it hard to respect them and co-operate with them, resisting their freedom to set boundaries either subtly or obviously, and so missing opportunities from relating fully with these people.
The effects of poor boundary setting and maintenance
- Feeling out of connection with others, ‘taken for granted’, or feeling resentment means you have not expressed to others or got clear inside about your yeses and no’s.
- Issues with health. My professional experience that seems to show certain health conditions come with particular boundary issues ( I cannot be specific here), which have been ignored over a considerable period of time. I work with Time Line for this if there is willingness.
- If you are not clear about your boundaries in any given relationship or situation, you must instead be openly or passively aggressive or unconsciously or secretly manipulative in order to try to get what you want.
- Weak boundaries or an inability to hold to them comes from core unworthiness and a confusion about or resistance to anger, which may hide a seething rage which can leak out or become violent.
- When we express a boundary or a no, we of course risk that those around us may be triggered into their own rage or collapse or disapproval. Those who can’t express anger healthily and can’t maintain boundaries are more likely to trash the boundaries of others and then judge them when they express anger about that.
- Sexual unhappiness because someone does not feel they can say no to what they don’t want or ask for what brings pleasure.
- Life gets smaller because there is fear of taking any risk. Remember that without the clarity and confidence to express your ‘No’, you are not able to fully embrace a passionate ‘Yes’ to what enhances life!
- The trance of not knowing your values and boundaries leads to living in the fog of trance, unhealthy pacts and compromise
- It may feel inappropriate to have what really want or don’t deserve it.
- There may be a vague sense of malaise or dissatisfaction
- Addictive behaviours develop as a way out of facing up to truth.
- It stops the flow of your own expansion to not attend to boundaries. One who is already what they are choosing are organically that, not trying to be that in order to please.
- If you try to fit into society (or family) by conforming to social ideals, or the wishes of everyone around, emotions become suppressed and you lose touch with your own authentic being as well as your innate wisdom about what works in life.
- Without knowing your innocence and your ability and utter freedom to make and communicate and maintain boundaries, you can feel very unsafe to simply be, because you don’t trust your innate capacity to protect your space and integrity
Such painful and depleting patterning can be un-learned – and if you wish for happy, fulfilling relating it must be dismantled-and new positive learning put in place and acted on. I talk about this in the next part of this piece, at https://secretgarden.co.uk/boundaries-made-up-yet-vital-for-a-happy-story-part-2/
I hope it brings you clarity and insight to act upon. Do contact me if you wish for reflections and an action plan for your own very particular circumstances.