The Gift of Boundaries

The Holidays are here! This is a fun time for most people. What better way to keep the fun for everyone, than discussing boundaries?

What are boundaries?

Think about a fence that surrounds a house. What does the fence represent? The area that belongs to the home owner. The owner will keep their important items inside the fence. Anything outside of the fence has to be allowed in and is not apart of what belongs to the home owner. If the owner decides to go out of the fence then they have to unlock the fence first.

Fences 101 - Antioch on the Move

Makes sense, right? – and no, I’m not here to sell you a fence. Boundaries help us stay true to who we are as individuals. They are rules that we make to stay true to ourselves. We know what we like and are able to do. Boundaries are not to block our view of the world nor keep the world from seeing us.

Sometimes around the holidays, we’re asked to do things that are outside of our “fence” and we automatically say yes. This is crossing your boundary; like going out of your fence without unlocking it. Now, you’ve either jumped it or ran through it. You can sometimes literally feel like this.

If you jumped it, you’ve used a lot of energy. Now you feel drained before you have even started to help. If you went through it, you are literally hurting yourself and you’ve damaged you’re fence. This could feel like being uncomfortable. In either case, you may have given the expectation that you’ll do this every time. Especially, if you have broken your fence; this is now an open place for anyone to come in.

Wooden fence broken plank Royalty Free Vector Image

So, what do we do?

I know that was a lot of “fence” talk, but the point is to take a moment. Going to unlock the fence represents taking time to ask yourself if you can and want to do this. What will you have to give up? How do you feel about doing this? If this takes a large amount of time and energy, do you have time to rest? Normalize, telling someone you need time to think about it. Knowing all the consequences, allows you to feel firm on your answer. Also, “No.” is a complete sentence. It’s okay to say no, politely.

This is the season of giving and for many of us that means time, money, and energy. You should feel good about when, where, and how much you give to others.

I challenge you to do more research on boundaries and start identifying your own!