In your natural expression you are whole, there are no boundaries there. Imagine that we are all One on a spiritual, energetic level but on a human, physical, mental, emotional level we are fragmented, traumatized, separated.The simple reason why we all need boundaries is that because we all experienced pain. Even if you have a life only filled with sun and roses, you are part of the human collective family and therefore share the collective pain and trauma.
We are at a time of great healing and awakening when we can heal our individual and collective trauma and return to our natural state of wholeness, where there are no boundaries and no separation.
Until then as part of our healing, we have to establish and maintain healthy boundaries.
Why do we need boundaries?
There are two reasons why we need healthy boundaries based on our evolutionary needs. We want to survive on the bottom level so healing is necessary for life preservation and we also want to evolve, express ourselves on a higher level instead of staying stuck in cycle of repeating the same experience.
1. Protect sensitive wounding until healing is completed
When you experience a trauma, a wound is created and therefore a boundary is needed until the healing of the wound is completed.
Imagine having a physical cut on your hand. First the wound will close and a scab is created to protect the wound until the healing of the wound is complete and the body is repaired, then the scab falls off.
In this case we are talking about a physical boundary but we also have mental, emotional and spiritual boundaries that are invisible and energetic.
At the bottom line, this boundary is there to stop intrusion, enable healing to begin and restore balance in the individual’s energetics.
2. Prevent further damage by remembering what happened
In an ideal world when a wound is healed there is no more need for boundary, for protection. But in an ideal world, there are no wounds to begin with. In an ideal world people don’t go around unconsciously hurting themselves and others. So even though you might have healed your wound you still need some kind of protection from those who haven’t healed their wound therefore they keep bleeding over others.
Trauma and boundaries
Trauma means is that somebody crossed your boundaries without your consent or permission and a result of that is you feeling/being violated/abused.
When this happens you become a victim and you assume that you can’t protect yourself. This reaction will further disempower you and you will attract more abusers/predators and keep repeating the same story until you are healed from the trauma.
This is the reason why many people even after leaving an abusive relationship will likely to attract a new person who is also abusive. Let’s see how trauma makes you more vulnerable.
When you suffer trauma, especially in childhood, your mind is trying to understand why things happened. For example if your father beats a child, the child’s mind is desperately trying to understand how can somebody who loves you and supposed to protect you can beat you and hurt you. This will lead to mental confusion not really knowing what is ok or not ok in this situation.
Many adults who were beaten in childhood think that physical punishment is acceptable and they did something to deserve that. But this is simply not true.
Healing can start when we start to be more clear around what is healthy and loving and what is not acceptable in a relationship.
When you experience a trauma, your system is under a lot of stress and you automatically enter a stress response. Most common responses are fight, flight and freeze. If your default coping is freeze, this freeze response gets wired into your nervous system. When you are under stress you will most likely freeze.
This trauma response also can be an obstacle to set and express healthy boundaries and protect yourself when abuse happens. In this case even though you feel that what is happening is not ok, not acceptable but still you will be unable to voice it, express it or act upon that feeling.
After severe trauma that can be a culminate trauma or one big traumatic event, your nervous system gets into a ‘fried’ mode when you don’t even feel the stress response (fight, flight, freeze) but simply feel nothing, you are totally disconnected, without the desire to change anything.
How do you know when your boundaries are crossed?
Sometimes, because of trauma it can be challenging to identify when a boundary is crossed.
The first sign is that you feel bad. You start to doubt and question yourself. You feel insecure, worried and afraid. You feel small and insignificant. You feel unloved and ultimately you feel alone.
If you feel bad in a relationship but you are not sure that your boundaries are crossed or not the best is to talk somebody. Friends, family members, or a professional healer, therapist can help you to get clear by offering you another perspective.
Often people isolate and stay silent when they are hurt and suffer and this can make it more difficult to find healing and resolution.
How to set a healthy boundary?
Once you decide to heal, set healthy boundaries and stop being a victim, here are some ideas on how to empower yourself to make a positive action and set a healthy boundary.
1. Get clear
To set a boundary first you have to know where that boundary is. The following questions will help you to get clear where your boundary is.
What is not acceptable for you in a relationship with a stranger?
This is a good question because often we allow our loved ones to treat us a way that we would never allow others to treat us. If you experienced severe abuse the best is to get a professional healer or therapist help you to get clear and create a healthy behavior
2. Communicate, express
Once you are clear on what your boundary is, the next step is to tell it to others who you are sharing space with. Clearly say why are you setting this boundary, why is it important for you, what the boundary is and also what will happen if they cross your boundary.
It is better to have this conversation at the first time when the individual is calm and the most receptive to hear it, not in the middle of a conflict.
3. Stand up for yourself (defend your boundary)
This is the hardest part of all! Even if you set a boundary, probably it will be crossed sometimes. The only thing you can do about that is enforce that boundary in the following two ways. When the boundary is crossed, remind the person of the boundary and ask him/her to respect it. This works most of the times. But in some cases somebody will not respect your boundary no matter how many times you establish it. The best you can do in this situation is to exit the relationship and remove yourself from this person’s life.
On a deeper level the lack of boundaries are connected with lack of self love and self respect. Often people feel they don’t deserve to be loved. To facilitate healing and self love use the following affirmation:
I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
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