I spent a glorious weekend in Salk Lake City, UT with two of my belly dance sisters attending a workshop. On the second day of the workshop, the instructor asked us what we wanted to work on. One of the participants said she was struggling with getting outside her ‘dance box’ of using only certain techniques and theories.
– not just in dance, but in life. I live in a world of boundaries, limitations, and restrictions, many of them self-imposed. For example, I have a big boundary walling off my heart from getting hurt. I think that if I don’t let people in, they can’t hurt me. But the thing about boundaries is that they are not porous – that is, my boundary isn’t just keeping me ‘safe’, it’s preventing me from having the kind of romantic relationship and friendships I truly desire.
Yet paradoxically, I also live in a world where too often I don’t set boundaries where I should. I have a tendency to be a people pleaser and let people walk all over me in my interpersonal relationships. I was talking to a client who struggles with those same issues earlier today.
I think, for me, regardless of whether you have too many boundaries, or too few, it, once again, comes back to self-love and self-worth. We let other people set boundaries for us so as not to [insert appropriate reason: disturb the status quo, make anyone mad, upset our friends and family]. Or we set them for ourselves (aka my ‘heart wall’) in some effort to protect ourselves from being hurt. At the same time,
. We’re afraid to tell them no, to use our voice, to ask for what we want. Then we wonder why we aren’t getting our needs met. I have been guilty of that one far too often.
On my journey of transformation, I have learned many lessons: how to love my body and myself, how to accept my perfect imperfections, how to be my own best friend, and lately, how to receive and allow others to help me. Over this next month, I want to work on setting boundaries – it might be taking some boundaries down (e.g., opening my heart up to love again) or putting some in place (e.g., not letting your sister walk all over you). I think many of us struggle with boundary issues. Know that if you do, you are not alone.
To help us get through our struggles, once again, I am creating a Facebook group, much like I did with the Month of Receptivity. Join us and learn how to set boundaries that are healthy for you and assure you are getting your needs met!