Boundaries are a big issue. Big, as they are pervading everything: relationships, work, family, the relationship with ourselves, interaction with friends and strangers, food issues, addictions and most importantly our needs and wants. The second chakra in it´s full range! Or said differently: If there is no boundaries, others are invading our space head on. Most of the time we notice too late when the damage or the energy loss is already done. So how to get clear on what our boundaries are?
Holding your Space
Boundaries have to do with holding our space. Being strong in our own energy field. Standing our ground. Speaking up, so that others are not entering further than is good for us and are not doing anything that is violating our boundaries. In order for that to happen we have to get clear first: What are my boundaries? What are my needs and wants? What can I tolerate and what is an absolute no-go for me?
Boundaries have been for me (and maybe still are) something to constantly work with. Having experienced diverse boundary violations in childhood, physically, emotionally and energetically (or rather karmic) I´ve attracted a string of unwanted situations in my life, including a very dramatic and frightening incident in the middle of a full moon night with some drunk berber guys in the desert, that caused me a lot of trouble for a long time. Until I started to understand that there is a pattern behind all of these events and took the responsibility and the help of holistic healers to sort things out. Since then a lot has shifted and now it´s more about the daily fine-tuning and the self-love practice, apart from a few rare situations every once in a blue moon that still trigger the hell out of me.
If boundaries are a tricky thing for you and boundary violations still take place, be it verbally, energetically, emotionally or even physically, a boundary violation from childhood might be the root cause of all evil. In Psychology it is said that all issues that are causing us pain and turmoil have been formed initially between the age of 1 and 6 years old. Some therapists even go so far as to say that trauma and dramatic events have been formed in the womb of the mother, through birth and until we get 1 year old. That is a long long time ago!
It can be something you remember, it can also be something you don´t remember. Sometimes it´s a trauma, which is still present in your body cells triggering the same emotions and situation again and again. Sometimes it is simply a situation, which as a child was hard to understand or made you feel uncomfortable, so it left a mark on you. It doesn´t always have to be that deep. It can be enough that at some point you felt either not respected, seen or heard or not taken seriously as an individual.
However, if there is a mark in your aura, your energy field, even if it is not visible by the physical eye, it is sensible and visible by the invisible eye and hence will attract a certain type of people who have a matching correspondance to this mark. The victim and perpetrator dynamic sets in. The people we attract are the ones that trigger the very same underlying issue again and again, causing us to experience the same ‘old’ emotions, until we find ways to heal them so that it disappears from our field. Once it is disappeared, we might simply not attract a certain type of people anymore or the very same people start behaving completely different around us. Magic!
One of the most foundational things to do when working with boundaries is to make a list. So I invite you now, as you are reading this, to take a journal or a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to mind in each of these categories:
Ask yourself: What are my boundaries? What are my needs and wants? What can I tolerate and what is an absolute no-go for me?
See what comes up and write it down. Get very clear on what you truly accept and what not. No maybe, no sometimes this, sometimes this – just say it out loud and write it down exactly as it is best for you. So it becomes very clear for you, but also for the Universe (and the rest of the world), where you need your boundaries to be.
This is an on-going process and can be done every week, every month or after every incident that reminded you: Check your boundaries! It can shift and change over time, or you might get a lot more detailed with it, the more you go through it. But it´s worth to invest the time. The clearer you are internally, the clearer your boundaries externally. When you are very clear and non-negotiable about your boundaries, then you are able to stand in your power and hold your space.
Setting Boundaries 101
Certain situations will test your boundaries, a lot. Most often, if not, checking in about your boundaries when visiting your family is a fun exercise. Considering the fact that this is were we come from in this physical reality and that we all seek love from our parents, setting boundaries can be sometimes a slackline parcours here. Families are the nurturing ground for entanglement, people pleasing, suppressed emotions, triggered emotions, unresolved issues and a lot more. So checking in how we behave, into what patterns we step, what we unconsciously accept and what we haven´t claimed yet or spoken out loudly, is an important task. Everything that influences us in our family has a subtle or not so subtle influence on our behaviour outside of this realm.
Take the example of the workplace. If you are in a fixed job position, your work environment will to some extend resemble your family. Mostly, the dynamic that you have with your boss will have something to do with the dynamic with either your father or your mother. If you are freelancer, you probably figured that you prefer to step out of the game.
Take the example of the love relationship. Everything your partner triggers in you is a shadow hiding inside of you that only comes to surface through the other person. That shadow again dates back to an unhealed childhood issue. So be thankful to your partner that he or she is helping you to see it! It´s not about him or her, it´s always about you.
Take the example of food. If you have uncontrollable cravings, tend to over-eat or find it difficult to stay away from things that don´t do you no good, it´s hard for you to set healthy boundaries to yourself. Underlying the food issue is emotions that are either not recognized early enough, not tended to and nurtured or maybe not felt or wanted to be felt. If there was a boundary violation in childhood that caused you to suppress your emotions, to shut down because they were not accepted at that time, or you had to find ways to replace actual needs with mere substitutes, cravings and addictions can form.
Now again, in order to set healthy boundaries the first step that is necessary is to be very clear on: What are my boundaries? Where and when am I not stating them? Where am I modifying them in order to please someone, because I want to feel accepted, think I will get a later benefit from it or value the other person more than myself?
Value yourself, first and foremost. Interact with people in a way that represents you in your strongest and at the same time most relaxed way. And leave situations and people that make you feel week.
When we are in our power, we are soft, outspoken, direct and at ease. We don´t need to think about what we say and how we say it. We simple act out of intuition, out of the moment.
When we are around people, situations and environments, that don´t serve us and that de-value us, we tend to act differently, put on masks, energetically pull the energy in rather than letting it float out and become anxious or nervous.
What have food, people and environments in common? They are all energy. When we lovingly take care of ourselves, we tend to eat healthy and nourishing foods. But we also tend to be with people and in environments that fully nourish us too!
It´s always good to check in, if a person or environment feels toxic to us and hence is draining, or if it feels nourishing and leaves us with a feeling of expansion, happiness and peace.
It´s our choice and our responsibility to choose wisely with whom and where we spend our time and also how we communicate our boundaries. We have a free will to do so. If certain people trigger us, we can choose to spend less or no time with them or we choose to learn the lesson and try to understand where we need to heal. Maybe it´s not so much about the person, but what he or she triggers in us. Sometimes it simply means we have to speak up and make things clear, so that the boundary becomes visible to the other person.
If certain environments don´t correspond to us, because they leave us feeling unhappy, drained or depressed, we can choose to not go there anymore. No one forces us to go anywhere apart from ourselves. And if we know that we rather spend time one-on-one with a person than with large groups and lots of interaction, we can choose to honor that and schedule our days and encounters accordingly. Things to get clear about.
That´s boundaries 101 on a very practical day-to-day level.
As you can see, boundaries stretch far and wide and are a constant work-in-progress. They might shift over time as issues heal and things that triggered us before might not be an issue anymore two years later. But still boundaries are the subtle underlying influence in all our interactions.
Where are you at right now?
If you´d like to learn more about how to consciously work with your second chakra and heal deep seated issues, join me for the next ‘Reiki Training‘ or the next ‘Chakra Healing & Psychology‘ workshop this August. I´m also available for a private healing appointment either in Berlin or over distance.