Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. – Brene Brown
I’ve learned a lot about boundaries in the past 3 1/2 years. When my daughter was born I discovered just how much your heart can love a tiny human. Naturally, I want to give her the world and I want her to be happy. Now more than ever, she has been testing her limits and pushing her boundaries as three-year-olds do. In those trying moments, I want to give in to her desires just to make her happy. Yet, I know avoiding temporary disappointments will only lead to long-term consequences.
If I let my little girl do whatever she wanted, she’d miss out on opportunities to develop life skills like learning how to share, be a friend, follow directions, and get along with others. On the other hand, if I’m too strict with her, she might not learn to think on her own, her confidence could suffer and she might grow to resent me. The sweet spot is right in the middle where loving boundaries exist.
A boundary is simply a line drawn between what is okay and not okay. While I’m in the thick of establishing these loving boundaries as a parent, I realize how important this concept is for our health and wellness goals as well. We have to determine for ourselves what is okay and not okay to preserve our health in the long-run.
For example, one of my clients has recently entered a new relationship. She realized upfront that she could easily get swept up in other things if she didn’t define what was important to her now. She knew that getting a good workout in at least 3 times a week kept her mentally and physically feeling her best. So now that she has this boundary set in her mind, it becomes easier to choose the gym even when other opportunities arise. She’s choosing to focus on the greater, long-term results of loving herself, instead of focusing on what would make everyone happy in the moment.
The holiday season is a time when we could all really stand to set loving boundaries. It is so easy to worry about disappointing others that we often forget to care for ourselves. Setting boundaries can be the most loving thing we do for ourselves this time of year. Your boundaries can help guide your decisions and make it easier to stay true to yourself through the hustle and bustle.
Food for thought:
Boundaries are a function of self-love and self-respect. – Brene Brown
What boundaries will you set for yourself?