There are times in our life where we will be confronted with a situation or a relationship dynamic, that stirs us up and provokes something within that doesn’t feel good or right. There are people in our day-to-day life that may bring out these feelings, they may trigger something within—perhaps you look at them and think ‘it’s your issue not mine?’ Or, perhaps, you take it as an opportunity to go within and take a look at your own loving boundaries, or lack there of.
From my experience, feeling triggered by someone has always been an opportunity to look at the why but also, the how—how I can move through this with compassion for myself and the other person. More often then not I have found that my boundaries have stretched far and wide, they became ‘loose’ in a sense—without even noticing I had lost that sense of self-protection, respect and love. I know the talk of self-love can often leave people rolling their eyes and thinking ‘do people even feel this way towards themselves?’ If this is the case for you then lets look at it in terms of a softness for oneself—a compassion towards yourself that you have for your nearest and dearest. It’s not selfish or narcissistic; it’s actually quite the opposite—as Danielle LaPorte writes, “self-love gives you the power to say no, to walk away, to be at peace where things are at.”
Bringing awareness to your own boundaries and in turn level of self-love helps not only you but also those you love most. When you act compassionately towards yourself and choose not to tolerate being treated poorly by another—we open up space for that person, giving them the opportunity to take a look at themselves and their behaviour. Your boundaries are what protect you and encapsulate your truth, the standards you hold for yourself and the compassion that flows freely through you.
I remember when I was living in London, my beautiful Aunt helped me through my own boundary struggles with certain loved ones, and as I see it now—my own self-love struggles too. She looked at me and said “Sammy darling, stay on your side of the street.” I let this simmer for a while and eventually understood that sometimes standing a little further away and expanding your own boundary bubble can come from a loving and compassionate place.
Thanks to my dear Aunt, I picture myself standing on my side of the street regularly. I imagine myself standing on the sidewalk with the other person across a cobbled street opposite me. Between each of us is a white shaped heart, soft and fluffy like a cloud, slowly traveling in the wind toward the other person. This image helps me realize how my boundaries are an act of love and compassion—even though we are at a new distance, we can still be there from a place of love.
‘Boundaries are not walls. They are a living container within which your desires can breathe, gestate and grow until they are ready to be born’ – Hiro Boga.
Although, this softness and respect for oneself can be met with misunderstanding, hurt or even offence at times—perhaps the person is still on their journey to discovering awareness of their own boundaries, along with compassion and love for themselves.
Setting your own boundaries takes time and practice, as with anything. Just as eating well and moving our body daily is important for our health and wellbeing, boundaries are what set’s a solid foundation to protect our wellbeing. Allow yourself to see boundaries as an act of love—when we choose to fill our cup of truth up first we can be ever more present, loving and open to those we hold close to our heart.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Where have you found it hard to keep your boundaries strong? How do you stay aware of the level of love and respect you have for yourself? What do you do to strengthen this?
Remember, your comments and feedback may very well help others who are in need of it.