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  • Writer's pictureAshley

Boundaries Without Guilt

Boundaries.


I want you to take a moment right now and see what is happening in your body as a result of considering creating boundaries.

What are the sensations? Is there tightness? Heat? Anxiety? Tingling?


Where are these sensations? Chest? Gut? Hands? Throat?


Now I want to encourage you to sit with those sensations and ascertain what emotions are present.


Is this a familiar feeling to you? Or is this new?


I can almost guarantee you have felt this way before. How do I know that? Because this is a huge part of what I do with my clients day after day.


It is so important to have a safe relationship with your therapist. A relationship where you feel seen, heard and understood. No judgement. The ability to be playful, and dare I say, even have fun?!


As I navigated this subject with a client recently it resulted in a powerful internal conversation between my client and a part of her that is longing to create boundaries. As she sat with this she was able to communicate with this part to understand it on a deeper level.


This concept is from Internal Family Systems (IFS) and it has been an integral part of my own healing journey. Every single person has different parts that make up their holistic self. When we can "map" these parts out and understand them and why they do what they do we step into an unstoppable empowered version of ourself.


This part of my client was asking her to create stronger boundaries and while the rest of her story is not mine to share I will say this, after this conversation and us creating a safe space together she walked away from our session feeling powerful and far more capable of setting boundaries and actually keeping them.


Why does she feel this way? Was it some magic spell I set on her? Hells no. The only magic was her allowing herself to ride the wave of emotions without running away or numbing. The truth is stored in our bodies my beautiful friends and today this session was SO awe inspiring both my client and I had to take a minute to get our heads straight because it was just that powerful.


So you may be asking yourself "but what about me? What can I do to start setting and keeping boundaries?" I got you friend. My best advice is to start small with your boundaries. Don't go out of the gate guns blazing and setting life altering boundaries. This will always lead to "failure".


A great first step can be to not say YES right away when asked to do something. Take pause. Say something like "let me check my schedule" and this will allow you to make a decision from a more peaceful and empowered place, as apposed to a more habitual and desperate place. This will help with the frustration and resentment that will naturally follow when you are not making yourself a priority and putting everyone else's needs before yours.


Another suggestion would be to set a boundary with someone that you have a close enough relationship with that you can explain what you are doing, learning how to set AND keep boundaries.


The most important thing to note here is this my friends, the ONLY people who will be upset at you setting boundaries that are BEST for you are people who took advantage of you not having boundaries.


Read that again friends. It hurts. But it is true.


Creating and keeping boundaries and overcoming the tendency to people please is a large task. It is not something that is easy ESPECIALLY when you have childhood core wounds attached to being a people pleaser.


The great news is this though, anything is possible. Our brains are malleable and we can create new neuropathways that will change our lives in ways we never dreamed possible BUT you have to be patient friends. This won't happen overnight. There will be tears. You will question your sanity and worth along the way, but the amount of resentment you will save yourself will be worth it!


I freaking promise!


So let's hear it, what is your biggest challenge with setting and keeping boundaries?


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