One of the hardest lessons that I’ve had to learn throughout my spiritual journey is understanding, creating, and maintaining healthy boundaries. As an empath, I am susceptible to the energy, feelings, and emotions of others. I effortlessly feel the emotions of strangers, family members, friends, and associates. I began to experience a constant state of energetic drainage and physical fatigue. It took me a while to realize that I was carrying everyone else’s emotions, insecurities, doubts, expectations, pain, confusion, and fear all by myself. Through introspection and “get your life” meetings with my spiritual mentor, I realized that I had to learn how to create boundaries.
When my mentor presented the idea of me having to create these much-needed boundaries in my relations with others, I felt an odd feeling of guilt. This overwhelming feeling of guilt confused me and caused me to observe my emotions in an attempt to understand them. Why do I feel like I need to be everything to everyone? Why do I feel guilty for choosing my peace and happiness over others? Where do I even start creating these boundaries? The guilt stemmed from my need to please others and the idea that I needed to heal everyone that crossed my path. The idea that being nice means setting aside my own needs and happiness. I had to make a new agreement with myself to choose my peace over all the unnecessary baggage that I so unnoticeably carried.
Coming to this conclusion was not an easy for me, but I realized that a part of understanding my abilities as a healer meant learning to practice a form of detachment to protect myself. I chose to take a step back and examine how each relationship in my life affected my energy. I had to monitor the things that I decided to talk about with others and how I interacted with these same people. From there I consciously created a new boundary or adjusted the boundary that already existed. I began to note all the ways that other people successfully projected their pain or fear on me, and I saw how it affected the way I moved throughout life. Although it may have been difficult, I chose to set a standard for how I dealt with certain people. I slowly began to limit my interactions with those individuals that unconsciously drained my energy or projected negativity into my existence. Boundaries were continuously created and renovated until I no longer felt negatively impacted by the people I was around. Some people understood my new boundaries and others blatantly didn’t respect them. Nonetheless, I stayed consistent with my journey to remove all the energetic debris from my space, and I found balance.
By no means am I perfect at maintaining these boundaries but when I fall short, I remind myself that exercising healthy boundaries is a form of self-care, self-love, and energy protection. It’s okay to do what is best for you and what will protect your energy. It’s okay to let go of people that drain your energy or cause fluctuations in your anxiety (I call those people energy vampires). It’s okay to disconnect from others just to get your mind right. It's okay to adjust your previous boundaries due to the growth that has occurred within you. It's okay to make yourself a priority.
I have added a few tips below to help you establish and maintain boundaries in your life.
Being able to recognize negativity in your relationships with others is the first step in creating healthy and lasting boundaries. When you’re done interacting with people, do you feel drained or notice a shift in your attitude? If so, then you’re probably allowing some degree of negative energy or toxicity into your space via the person you’re interacting with. You deserve better than that, babe. If you need to, write down how those people make you feel to better understand the role they play in your life.
You’ve examined the way people around you are relating to you but now its time to talk about you. Introspection is simply the process of going within yourself to better understand the things going on in your life and your little Universe. Take some time out to sit and assess the role you play in your interactions with other people. What kind of things are you bringing into the relationships you currently have with the people in your life? In what ways could you become a catalyst for change in your interactions with these people? Introspection helps you understand what you want, the things that you will or will not tolerate from other people, and it helps you get a clear view of the roles you play in your relationships with others.
Set a Standard for your interactions
Examine the type of conversations and interactions you’re having with the people in your life. Is there a friend in your life that only calls you to talk about other people and never talks about anything of real substance? Do you feel like the people around you are consistently lifting you up or tearing you down? Sometimes you don’t want to remove any of these people from your life entirely, but you have to learn to set a standard for your interaction with them to protect your energy and peace of mind. For example, if that gossiping friend calls you three times a week, limit your interaction with that person to once a week. You have control over the type of conversations you have with other people, so it is up to you to change the narrative. If it doesn’t work and you don’t feel a change in your relationship, then maybe you need to distance yourself from that person and allow them some time to work through their issues while you figure out your own.
Learn to say No
If you are anything like me, you probably have a tendency to say yes to things that you honestly don’t want to do in a means to please other people. Don’t be that person. Learn to start saying “No” to things that you don’t want to be a part of or want to associate with. If you don’t want to go to that event or party with those people, then don’t go. If you don’t want to lend money to that one friend that ask you for money every three months, then say “No.” If you don’t want to cover for your coworker shift or take on some of their workload when you don’t have to, then say “No.” Make sure you are okay with the decisions you have made, and you are choosing this route to help improve your life and happiness. Stand up for yourself!
These are just a few tips to help you start to make healthy and attainable boundaries in your life. Some people simply don’t value what you bring to the table, and that’s okay but if it starts to burden you then its time to start making some changes. Above all else, choosing you is okay!
Healthy Boundary Affirmation: I am committed to establishing, adjusting, and maintaining healthy boundaries between myself and others to promote self-love.
Are there people in your life that cause fluctuations in your energy? If so, in what ways can you adjust your interaction with that person or persons to promote a healthy environment for your growth?