“Walls keep everybody out, boundaries show you where the door is.” – Mark Groves
I used to struggle with boundaries. Being a “good girl” and not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable has been the mission for most of my life.
Sacrificing what I wanted so that I’d be received as selfless, kind, and accommodating. Saying yes to stuff I hate, spending time with people I needn’t be around, betraying my own needs and myself to be likeable.
This has shown up in a plethora of ways. Everything from smiling and saying yes to my time, to letting a man get handsy because I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable by saying “no“.
I’ve attended the school of hard knocks when it comes to boundaries on more than one occasion.
Being a yes to everything and everyone may seem great in the moment, it earns immediate approval, and admiration. Sounds pretty sweet. But what about long term? What happens when we don’t know where we end and someone else begins because the lines have somehow started running together?
What happens when we wake up and realize that all of our yes’ were for someone else? Someone we have no control over, someone maybe we don’t even like that much, someone who isn’t… us? And now, all those yes’ are billowing with the smoke of resentment that no one can extinguish.
Towards ourselves and in the long run, towards those we hold dear. They allow us to trust that we have our own back and let us know that when we do say yes, we really mean it. Authentically.
It’s all about awareness and being intentional. Checking in with ourselves on the regular, getting clear on our needs and acting on our own behalf to stay true to them. Knowing with our whole powerful, gorgeous, pulsating heart, that if it’s not an absolute yes, it’s probably a no.
Let me know what you think. Are you on the struggle bus with boundaries? What are you doing to practice them, and with who?
Alexa Silvaggio is a wellness entrepreneur based in New York City, and Los Angeles. She is a yoga instructor, writer, speaker, podcast host, social media influencer, retreat leader, life coach, mover, and shaker. She would love to connect with you! @alexasilvaggio or www.alexasilvaggio.com
Image courtesy of Joel Mott.