The concept of boundaries can be somewhat bewildering, as the word itself seems to insinuate that we are trying to separate ourselves from others and the world. However, boundaries in relationships and life are a way of nurturing ourselves and others in fulfilling ways, rather than in a draining and unhealthy manner.
What is A Boundary?
A boundary is a subtle rule or guideline that we put into place for ourselves and others to maintain fulfilling, healthy relationships. Essentially, they protect relationships and situations from being unsafe and are ground rules for what we need out of our connections and life in general.
What Types of Boundaries Can I Have?
Well, any kind! In reality, boundaries are guidelines for us to lead happier and healthier lives. We learn how to relate at an early age from our closest relationships, typically with our parents. Sometimes we learn healthy relationship patterns and sometimes we learn unhealthy ones. Sometimes we learn both. Boundaries help us recreate what “relating” means to us and create connecting points for ourselves within our relationship to pretty much anything, whether it be a person, food, work, personal growth, belief systems, sexuality sobriety, etc.
Keeping Ourselves Accountable
Keeping ourselves accountable in relationships is just as important as keeping others accountable. One of the most powerful things we learn throughout recovery and healing is that we indeed are our greatest lesson and source of information. The way we relate to the world, ourselves, and our closest loved ones are continuous lessons in how we can become healthier and happier individuals. Sometimes, we have to take a hard look at ourselves, make some boundaries and changes within ourselves first, and then create boundaries with others that mirror that new connecting point.
Don’t Push People Out
Humans are biologically built for connection, so to create boundaries that aggressively push people out is the opposite of what we are seeking. Boundaries are meant to be connecting points for us, and though we must always practice discernment with who and what we allow into our space, the goal is not to dismiss or push away anything that makes us uncomfortable. Instead, we need to learn how to have healthy relationships with the things that make us the most uncomfortable. Sometimes, that means completely walking away, or sometimes that means making ground rules for the relationship. The key to knowing when or how to make that call is learning about ourselves and what we need first.
Boundaries are an inherent part of the healing process and learning how to be our healthiest and happiest selves. It is essential that we know how to make and maintain good boundaries for the sake of our relationships and our own safety. At Avalon Malibu, we understand how difficult this can sometimes be and know that having guidance and support is critical in learning to create healthy boundaries in our lives. If you or someone you love is struggling to maintain healthy boundaries, call us today at (844) 857-5992. We can help you build the structure in your life that leads to sustained recovery.