gt-boundaries-cropI’ve found that many of the women who hire me for private coaching do so because they want to get stronger in themselves and express this more powerfully in their world.
They want to keep their soft, caring heart, yet grow a backbone.
They want to hear their own voice and use it on their own behalf.
They want to preserve their sensitivity yet no longer be a doormat.
They want to take care of themselves as much as they take care of others.
These women are the healers of the world. The nurturers, the caregivers, the deep divers of the soul. They create beauty. They are here to connect, uplift and inspire. They know their loving has the capacity to heal.
Yet, they may have forgotten themselves in the process. They may feel depleted, self-critical and disconnected from their own kindness.
I love nothing more than helping a woman grow stronger in her self respect while staying true to herself, her feminine caring, and her gifts of loving.
I understand what a journey it is to remember ourselves to our own compassion. As a highly sensitive, intuitive female, I used to live my life leaking my energy towards others while longing for a sense of boundary between myself and the world around me.
For much of my life, I carried an erroneous belief that I needed to help people heal, especially in intimate relationships.
My confusion was that I had thought that by making myself available to their upset, their hurts, their blame — I thought I could love them ENOUGH to eventually get them to see me.
I truly thought it was my job to tolerate poor treatment and help them to feel safe, once and for all, and then they would love me back in the way that I hoped for.
It wasn’t until I began learning about emotional boundaries and growing beyond the familiar tendencies that wanted to keep me playing out unhealthy dynamics in relationships that I developed greater strength and freedom.
Emotional Boundary Checklist
These top 3 boundaries are what I introduce some of my clients to as a behavioral road map. We use these to check themselves against to see if they are in the slippery territory of over-giving to others while undervaluing themselves and their own needs, making themselves vulnerable to absorbing other people’s unresolved pain.
1. Don’t Stir the Hornet’s Nest – Often for us tender-hearted sensitives, we can FEEL if someone is upset with us. Because it may be difficult to tolerate the intensity of our own discomfort, we want to fix it. We want to make them love us because it is too painful to feel unloved.
The first boundary to look for is if you sense someone is judging you, you then open the door (stir the hornet’s nest) to hear about their judgment of you and then you get slimed. Ewww.
If they want to clean up their stuff with you, it is their responsibility to come to you. It is NOT your responsibility to invite them to clear up their judgements of you by making yourself a doormat to hearing what their issues are — especially if they are not initiating this themselves.
The invitation here is to look to where you need to make amends with others and handle that while staying out of where others may have things to clear up with you. They will come to you when and if ready. In the meantime, do your best to get comfortable in the discomfort of knowing people won’t always ‘get’ you.
2. Personalizing – The next boundary to look for is if you are taking their inability to be loving or understand you, personally.
If you interpret their inability to see you as a personal rejection and make yourself wrong, this is an opportunity to see if self-rejection is present in your inner world.
By believing ourselves unlovable, by believing their lack of capacity to love us has anything to do with us, we are subtly rejecting a basic truth.
The invitation here is to remember the basic truth that you are love. Your core essence is love. When we forget this, we reject ourselves and reject others.
3. Giving/Receiving – We want from others often what we want for ourselves. Are you over-giving of your attention, your caring, your generosity, your listening? Do you wish you had more people giving this to you?
If you feel that you give in order to win their love, that you wished they gave more back to you and you feel chronically dissatisfied. This may be a sign that you are crossing the third emotional boundary.
Sometimes — as empathic givers we are more familiar with giving and uncomfortable with receiving. Even though we say we would like to receive, often it is hard to let it in.
The invitation here is to give of your heart’s gifts and to also make sure that you are allowing yourself to be given to. Giving to ourselves sometimes looks like stepping back and offering ourselves our own loving energy, perhaps through a peaceful walk on the beach or a gentle stream of loving words that we whisper to ourselves.
What I have found is the more we develop stronger emotional boundaries, the more we are able to preserve our God-given gifts of sensitivity and nurturing and include ourselves in our own caring.
From here, self-criticism drops, anxiety releases and emotional suffering is greatly reduced.
I’d love to hear how you care for your sensitive heart and where you are practicing growing stronger in yourself.