Boundaries are all about loving yourself.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – even though February and Valentine’s Day reminds us all to tell our nearest and dearest that we love them, it’s also a time to stop and reflect on how we can give ourselves a little love too.
As most of you know I turned the big 50 in November last year. Now I’m not saying this is an age thing, but I have had a lot of people pass away in my world recently, and it’s made me think.
Realistically I am well over halfway through my life, even though I still feel like I’m in my 20s! But these events have really hammered home to me that life should be about making every second count.
Boundaries protect and care for you.
Boundaries are often thought about from the perspective of how we let others treat us, i.e. protecting yourself from letting other people steal your time, or in some cases suck the life out of you!
Boundaries should be set up to manage all the people that come into your life that you have relationships with that govern how you want them to treat you. That includes loving relationships, work, friends and family, in fact, anyone. Without boundaries, we get pushed and pulled in all directions.
We don’t always set personal boundaries for us though.
We are all so busy with life, running around like nutters. But there comes a time when we have to take a look at what we’re doing and figure out what the boundaries are going to be for how we treat OURSELVES.
Because you can’t give from an empty cup. You can’t be expected to be there for EVERYONE else if you’re not taking care of YOU too.
You wouldn’t get into your car without putting fuel in it first would you? And you probably wouldn’t drive a car that’s filthy inside and out either?
Because if you do both of those things, you’ll end up with a car that’s broken down and in a terrible condition and no one will want to buy it off you! Respecting and caring for our “vehicles” (that’s you and your body I’m talking about now) isn’t just about taking care of the physical vehicle outside or the engine inside, but it’s also about caring for the condition of the interior too (your soul).
It’s important to set your own personal boundaries.
Let me tell you a little story about my life experience…..
Once upon a time (three years ago), I didn’t have any boundaries in place for myself. I was working all the hours god sends, frantically juggling home life with work life as well as serving all those other relationships in my life – friends, colleagues, family.
It all changed when one day the police called to tell me that I had left my car unlocked and still with the engine running for four hours….. I was SO BUSY and so far from protecting what was important in my life (rest, relaxation, headspace), that I had completely forgotten to even switch off my car when I stopped to move onto my next task.
That experience made me re-evaluate my working habits and look at my work-life balance. That was what provoked me to give up my clinic in Knutsford and concentrate on just the one in Manchester.
Last year I re-evaluated again.
I was getting so stressed driving into Manchester to work and the traffic is particularly bad on a Tuesday. So, what was the answer – what boundary could I set myself to allow myself to ease that stress off? Simple – I come in by train on a Tuesday to start at 9am. But incidentally, it also makes me finish on time so that I get the train home at 10pm. I am less stressed and tired now, so more productive and happier all round, which believe me is good for everyone!
This year again, a change to my boundaries needed to be made.
Because my time is so precious and I am juggling work, family and life, I decided to reset my Terms and Conditions with clients. I am a really accommodating and kind person, but again, boundaries are ultimately about protecting you and what is important to you. So, I made changes that means when my time is booked, I know it is protected.
Now I know that I can serve my clients in the best possible way and our relationship together is also protected by the Terms and Conditions we agree on at the time of booking.
Love is a boundary.
I know for me that love is my defining boundary. It keeps me accountable to my children and keeps me within a safe place to choose what I do in my life. Love is also a connection that works both ways. We need love too, which is why we need boundaries in place to support and express our needs.
Boundaries to protect things in my life are important – not just the treasures within my home, but also the treasures that live inside me, my life and soul. Looking at how I can nurture these treasures so that they increase in value too.
Boundaries enable you to create space so that you have a better life and better interactions with others. This all enables you to better serve others – your family, your job, your friends.
The need to set and reset boundaries never goes away either. It constantly needs to be revisited for where you are in your life and how things are feeling. If you feel off-kilter, perhaps it’s time to address what is making you feel that way and make some changes to your boundaries.
Life is a canvas and you are the artist. Paint your life with all the choice and responsibility that you want and choose the colours that you paint with that lift your heart.
If you’re struggling to manage your stress levels and seeing symptoms in your digestive health, then please get in contact with me to see how I can help relieve them. Stress is a major cause of digestive health issues, but there are things we can put in place to help you to alleviate those issues.
If you want to learn more, read this blog about Are you Having a Stress Attack.