The Process: A New Series of 5 essays. #1 Boundaries
Updated: May 16
At a time when we GenXers, who are still spry, have retired from our first career, experienced putting kids thru college and are now starting on our second career, I'm still learning the basics of me.
No judgement or shame. It just is. The process of properly using boundaries efficiently at my age starts by realizing that I never had any. I didn't set any up.
Yes, I did exaggerate just then. I had them I just was ill informed on when to use them or to what degree.
Roll up your sleeve and pant legs we're going in deeper folks.
Environment is our first teacher. I saw and imitated the behavior that if you get angry at the object of your irritation, they automatically gave you a boundary by leaving or ignoring you or stop calling you or something. All taken care of. Right? Wrong!
But that’s what I did.
I didn't know that you could set up your boundaries so we don't go there.
Firstly, what is the definition of boundary and what does it look like in human relationships?
Boundary-a line that marks the limits of an area. A dividing line.
Property, homes, offices, work spaces, vehicles are all designed to give space to specific activities or create a separation. Show ownership.
Secondly, all relationships need boundaries. Issues will arise when we aren't empowered to define our spaces or we don't have the language that equal to our age and experience.
Most are emotionally damaged souls of indeterminate ages and stations in life. In other words, they're everywhere. It could be anyone!
The age that we’re holding onto pain isn't apparent until we speak or shriek and act out.
Side bar: So we can be 50 but reacting like we're 10 in some ways. No language. Just shut down. I lived there for most of my 51 years. I've served my time in personal hell jail. I'm not going back.
Some of us "act in". Hurting ourselves inside. Stuffing food info the pain or not eating well.
We react with passive aggressiveness towards others but super raw and hard with ourselves. I this know all too well.
I remember choosing passivity as a child because I didn't know I had power. I watched other people speak up for themselves and get what they want. I watched people defend themselves or say No, and still get treated well. It seems that everyone knew something I didn't.
That old behavior did not serve me well. It has received its walking papers.
Boundaries. How to stand up for themselves. Not angrily or nasty. Just stand up. No explanation. No discussions or complaints.
I thought to myself, if I could only speak up without anger. If I were only more like....(Insert a name here.)
I know you know someone you think is perfect and they always know what to do/say.
Shameless reveal (they're not/don't).
Plot twist and surprise ending, you will do this for yourself.
You have to. No one else can or should do this for you.
Just like a fence defines what belongs to another, so a kindly placed boundary will add to your life and help the other person do better. Also know that most people want to do better.
They want peace. They may need a model. Be that one or learn from one and repeat throughout your relationships.
Example: set up meeting times and lengths for business meetings/calls. Ask for an agenda of the meeting before you agree to attend. Make sure you're absolutely needed for the call. Or that the call is necessary. Can this be taken care of via email.
Let your friends/family you set aside time for them and they'll return the favor.
Luv pat on the arm here, step up and model leadership or be the best example of cooperation. Be a part of the solution. This is how we build on new foundations.
Once you learn better, you do better. ~Maya Angelou
If you work from home, what are you're work hours? Or do you just work until you drop off to sleep? If so, stop today. Stop it right now! You deserve better than that behavior.
If you live alone and are doing this, to yourself, Why? Check how you feel internally.
Does ALL of YOU like this habit? What does tummy say or chest or heart or shoulders?
Come on my purple people. Let's talk. It's time.
You can handle this. Don't continue to push it under something. It'll come out at the wrong time. Trust me on this one. :)
Is your schedule in your control? Can you start to make small changes? Aren't you worth it? Can you see how a small adjustment can boost your relationships in any way?
Admittedly, I insist on this next one:
Schedule outings with friends and END the casual drop by.
Everyone can text. Even if they are a block away.
It's not just a preference. I have safety concerns I'm working thru stemming from childhood trauma. I do not like the pop over.
Also, not a fan of the surprise. Put up your gate.
Dem must respect mah gate. (Said in a lousy Jamaican patois). Forgive me
Stay the course. Treat yourself the BEST of all because everyone you encounter benefits from your feeling your best.
It's your life after all.
I'm not telling you anything that I'm not doing or had to do.
We're all learning together. It's a Beautiful Struggle. I want to continue the conversation. Tell me how this resonates with your experience.
Positive, helpful comments only.
Please and Thank You. Peace ~Mluv