Hey Babelicious! I love you so much and I want you to always feel safe and protected.
And there’s really just one person that can truly give you a sense of safety, and that person is me (your inner voice).
I know that I haven’t always been there for you like I should have. And I also know that I’ve let you down far too often by prioritizing and worrying about the needs and feelings of others ahead of yours.
But babe, I AM now fully committed to understanding where your boundaries lie, and to protecting, and honoring YOU first and foremost.
Setting boundaries is one of those things that take a looooonng time to get good at, especially if you aren’t used to having them.
I understand that It can be very scary to communicate our needs and feelings when we aren’t’ used to doing so.
But boundaries are designed for purposes of safety and well-being. So we shouldn’t feel afraid of them, but rather, grateful for them.
So how do you actually know when a boundary is being crossed?
Usually you can feel it when it happens. The incident might leave you feeling a bit icky or uncomfortable.
Perhaps this will help, my love… Having your boundaries crossed, could look like any of the following:
— Feeling uncomfortable when someone puts their hands on any part of your body: hair, shoulder, hand…anywhere.
— Someone sharing something about you, with others, that you don’t feel comfortable being shared.
— Being treated in a way that doesn’t feel good to you.
— Being spoken to in a manner that makes you feel bad.
— Someone calling or texting you too much and you don’t like it.
— A stranger, of any kind, walking up to you in a public setting, which causes you to feel uncomfortable.
— Being asked to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
When a boundary gets crossed, many times, we let it slide because we don’t want to make anyone else feel bad or uncomfortable.
But what we end up doing instead is sacrificing our own comfort level and not protecting ourselves and our energy.
Many of us have learned this pattern of behavior in childhood.
We were taught to be nice to others. But unfortunately, far too often, it was at the expense of our comfort level, and our boundaries.
We got used to sacrificing our comfort level in order to ensure others were comfortable, or that WE didn’t make THEM feel bad.
It can take a very long time to undo our old people-pleasing, self-sacrificing behaviors.
So how does one even start?
Well my love, The first, and most important step is simply beginning to become aware of when a boundary gets crossed.
We may not be swift enough in the moment to identify a boundary-crossing situation, nor do we always know exactly how to handle it when it happens.
But that’s where journaling and reflecting on the moment afterward can help us work through exactly what happened, and to help us determine how we could better protect our boundaries in future, similar situations.
If you have the opportunity to address the issue with the person who crossed your boundary after the incident, it’s always worth it to address it with them. This will often still have the same affect as doing it in the boundary-crossing moment, and may sometimes even be better, as you will have had time to think through what made you feel uncomfortable, and how to address it in an appropriate manner.
Yes, it will most-likely feel scary to think about talking to that person.
Do it anyway babe. Fear will almost always rear it’s ugly head when we are changing a behavior pattern.
After you have communicated a boundary, it should feel great! That’s your power coming back to you. The power that you’ve unwittingly been giving away.
If you don’t have the opportunity to communicate with the boundary-crosser – run the boundary-crossing scenario through your head, or write about it in your journal, so you know exactly how you would handle it the next time.
Running it through your head, in advance, in a more empowered manner, works to simulate the experience as if you’ve already successfully been through the scenario.
Remember to be kind to yourself and forgive yourself if you weren’t able to protect yourself in the moment.
Every boundary-crossing scenario usually looks different from the last.
Each time you sense a boundary was crossed, and you weren’t able to communicate your boundary at the point of incident, just keep doing the same thing I covered earlier until you can successfully set a boundary in the moment…which is, when you have time, sit and contemplate the situation, or journal about it.
Pretty soon, in the moment, you’ll be able to call out the boundary crossing situation and stand up for yourself.
And here’s the last bit of advice I’ll give when it comes to setting boundaries…
There are mainly two recommended ways to confront a boundary-crossing situation with someone.
1) If it’s someone you care for, and want to maintain a good relationship with, then it’s best to express your boundary kindly and compassionately, yet clearly.
Keep in mind that they probably weren’t intending to upset you. You’ve probably just never expressed the boundary with them before. Heck, maybe no one ever has, and so they may have been carrying out this behavior their entire lives.
2) If it’s someone you don’t care to have a relationship with, or perhaps want to clearly communicate that they need to stay away, then a firm and powerful approach is the best approach in this situation.
Otherwise, if the boundary is not firmly communicated, they may not take you seriously and may just do it again. There are relentless boundary-crossers out there that will continue their desire to have their way with you until they KNOW you are serious.
Setting boundaries is an act of kindness to yourself.
And you deserve your love my love. You deserve your honor and protection.
I know this was more of a Love Letter rather than a Love Note babe. But I love you and only want the best for you. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter to you. Next time I write you, I promise it won’t be so lengthy.