If you ever hear yourself saying “no one respects my boundary,” take a second look at how you may not be respecting yourself, and do the work to heal from the inside out. What you experience outside of yourself is a direct reflection of your inner conditions.
Boundaries: The point where you end and someone or something else begins.
How you maintain your boundaries tells you a whole lot about yourself, where you’ve been hurt and your willingness to trust.
A rigid boundary starts on the inside as a defense against real or imagined harm. It doesn’t let anyone in or you out. When caught in one of these, you don’t know how to discern between safe and unsafe, so you stay barricaded behind this wall. Rigid boundaries are fixed, like emotional cement, and over time, a rigid boundary can cause you to suffer feelings of isolation, bitterness, and a terminal sense of uniqueness that separates you from your own humanity. This boundary is the ultimate NO.
A lack of boundaries is the opposite. It is born of an unconscious attempt to protect you from being a target. It’s like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility. Boundaries make you visible. If you can’t be seen, you can’t get attacked. Think of this as a perpetual state of dislocation. You can’t find yourself and neither can anyone else. You are merged with everyone and everything around you with no strong sense of yourself. The hallmarks of this strategy are overcommitting, being exploited or the opposite – using others, codependency, and depression. This boundary is the ultimate YES, meaning it’s all about acquiescing to the other person or the conditions you find yourself in.
A porous boundary is the balance point. Porous boundaries are flexible, adaptable, and collaborative. In this position, you have the ability to discern safe and unsafe. You are willing to take risks in the direction of greater degrees of connectivity to yourself or others. You are willing to take up space when necessary and to give more space to others as needed. When you use porous boundaries, you trust that if you are hurt, you can and will recover for the better.
Boundary marking like this requires you to tend the hurt of old or current pain, heal rigidity inside of you, and shore up your courage and mark a boundary when you are going invisible.
Notice what boundaries show up inside of you today.
Yours in psyche and spirit,