We attract what we put out.
I am not talking about the faith we put in the idea that good things happen to those who wish. No, I am talking about the message we communicate to the world around us. To our relationships. To the people who seem to continuously hurt us.
I am talking about our boundaries.
It’s not that our relationships define us. It’s that we don’t take enough time to define them. We allow them to exist in a boundless grey area. No outline for where my identity begins and yours ends.
There’s a constant.
I realise that I’ll continue to appeal to friends who impose their beliefs on me if I have never had a conversation with myself about my own values. If they don’t see a line, they’ll continue to walk over me.
Grey areas are suitable for trespassing.
For as long as I’m foggy about the things that keep me intact, I’ll always make a perfect match for lovers who want control over me . Their belief that we are one and the same thing stems from the idea that they complete me. That they are my better half. I don’t need to be completed.
I am whole all by myself.
I will continue to prioritise family members who feel entitled to my time, money and energy if I hold on to the notion that relationships are either blood or water. That one is thicker and therefore I am obligated. I am not.
I can choose who is important to me.
Not having boundaries doesn’t make me nice. It leaves me open in a battlefield where everyone is looking out for themselves but still assume that they know each other’s thoughts and feelings. They don’t. My goodness, sometimes we are confused by our own emotions.
It starts with you.
It starts with paying careful attention to your existence. What you feel. What you need. Who you love. What you want. What fires you up. What brings you back. What wakes you up. What lifts you up. What soothes you. What cools you.
What moves you.
There’s going to be a lot of things vying for your attention but you, and only you, are the information you need to start defining your edges. Everything else is a distraction. Move closer to the things that give you meaning. Move further from the things that interfere. One is a signal, the other is noise. As soon as you begin to find your centre, hold firm.
Don’t let go.
Show them where your line starts. Where your boundaries are. You can communicate without a need to control. You can ask without using manipulation. You can love without making threats. You can disagree without needing to win. That’s the thing about finding your own boundaries. Other people’s lines become clearer to you. You can see where they begin. You can respect them. You can put down your weapons.
“I don’t like how you are speaking to me. It makes me feel threatened. Do you understand what I mean when I say that?”
Invite them into a space where you can share reality instead of the murkiness that comes with assumptions. ‘We are both upset’ doesn’t have to turn into a sparring match between egos. It means we need to explore how our boundaries have been crossed so it doesn’t happen again.
Come, be curious with me.
“You are not being fair!” Is an accusation. “I feel hurt by your words.” Is a clear description of your boundary. Always choose clarity over indictment. Be clear on what is actually happening not what you assume. It seems like it takes a lot of energy to draw boundaries without imposing yourself. That’s because it does. It takes practice too. It’s still worth it.
The old way hasn’t worked for you thus far.
Two adults competing to throw the biggest tantrum is certainly not a solution. The problem is not with one person. It is in the system you have established between each other. When one member of the system believes their need is more important, then of course there will be turbulence. A relationship thrives in a system where both members understand that they won’t always get what they want and that the other person is entitled to stay within the boundaries that make them comfortable.
Love doesn’t demand, it acknowledges…
This is what I have found out about myself. I am going to put it in the space between us. If you do the same, we can come to an informed solution. We can engage from a place of understanding. Our boundaries won’t pull us apart. They’ll bring us together. They’ll make us pay attention to ourselves and then to each other.
Boundaries set when distracted are not mindful, they are unhealthy.
As I continue to understand the boundaries that are important to me, the people around me will have to decide whether those boundaries exclude them or not. That is a perspective they choose. That is a choice they make. What I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that the ones who do hang around will respect me. They will appreciate me.
They will absorb everything I tell them about myself and then they will use it to love me for who I am.