Think back to the last 24-48 hours. Was there an interaction that rubbed you the wrong way, left you feeling frustrated, or hurt your heart a little bit?
In this human experience, we often get caught up in someone else’s energy. We are always navigating our own energy as we meet up with— or butt up against—another person’s energy. However, boundaries, support us in separating from experiences and relationships that are not serving us. They act as a container for our energy. In other words, boundaries are guidelines and limits that we hold ourselves to internally and/or externally. Boundaries are agreements that we make with ourselves; they impact our relationships and interactions, as well as connection to ourselves.
I recently asked a college-aged client of mine: “What boundaries do you hold for yourself when it comes to interacting with others?” Her response included spending time with people who treat her with acceptance, trust, kindness, and respect. I had a similar response, actually. Additionally, I added spending time where I feel safe and loved.
Consider this question for yourself. Here, I invite you to listen and see what comes up.
Next, I asked, “What boundaries do you hold yourself to?” Here she addressed goals she has for grades and academics, as well as the amount of sleep she needs.
Again, I invite you to reflect on this question. Let what comes up be.
Boundaries Help Us Get Needs Met
As parents, caregivers, and supporters, it’s important to set limits in order to protect our energy and time. Boundaries support us in living with intention and getting our needs met. Furthermore, each one of us has the powerful responsibility to determine our boundaries and to create a life that reflects these values.
Over time, I witnessed my client explore boundaries. She already knew some of her core needs and desires, and developing boundaries opened the door to her own agency. During this process, she gauged which guidelines served her and which ones didn’t; she adjusted in order to align with her needs. This shift of focus allowed my client to move from knowing her needs– which is super powerful in itself– to taking an active role in holding herself accountable to limits that ensure her needs get met.
Each one of us is gifted with the opportunity to hold ourselves in the highest regard, to treat ourselves with utmost love, kindness, forgiveness. Additionally, we have a responsibility to know and tend to our needs and desires. Boundaries help us stay on the path to Connected Hearts. With this conversation in mind, this week, I invite you to notice which limits you have been living with. Naming the agreements you have been living by allows you to access which ones bring support and which ones confine. Observe your experiences without judgment, scanning for areas that may feel more flowing if you eliminated or changed a few boundaries. Likewise, notice which areas would feel more safe or stable if you added or changed your guidelines.
Teens and Boundaries
Tweens, teenagers, and young adults, too, have an awareness of the ways in which their energy is being challenged by relationships, the everyday demands of school, and social pressures. They are awake to what they want and need, and they are curious about how to protect and honor themselves.
Beginning conversations about boundaries with children of any age will support them in self-advocating and listening to their inner locus of control. I invite you to use this piece to inspire family conversation about boundaries, both individually and collectively.
If you or an awesome teenager in your life are ready for support in naming needs or developing boundaries, let’s chat. It is my honor to gift you with a 1-hour call to explore the ways that coaching can support you and your teen in developing voice, agency, and self-care.