I received a comment on Instagram recently and it’s something I get asked most frequently. What if my boundaries destroy the relationship? What if they can’t handle the boundaries that I put into place, and I lose them? What happens when they don’t like it enough to leave?
Trust me, I know that this is truly the hardest part. Envisioning your life without someone you love is painful for anyone, but it wasn’t until I questioned what love was supposed to look like.
The only thing more painful than losing someone you care about?
Living an inauthentic and anxious life trying to be someone else to get that person to stay.
One of the hardest things that I had to realize before boundaries were ever going to work for me was if this relationship won’t thrive with healthy boundaries in place, then it wasn’t ever healthy to begin with and it wasn’t going to magically be later.
I say it all the time, boundaries are a bid for love. Boundaries are you communicating healthy, normal, and respectful limits to a relationship so that it CAN thrive. Because guess what? You endlessly giving of yourself, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, pretending to be something you are not, and constantly needing to change course to keep it alive is NOT thriving.
For a long time, I didn’t understand it myself. I thought that was what love looked like. I assumed that it was normal and okay to go to the ends of the earth and back to make sure the other person was always happy with me. I thought that it was being nice to never say no, even when it would cause me so much inner stress and turmoil to follow through with the yes I didn’t want.
They also can’t read your mind. They need to know where you end and where they begin so that you have the best chance at growth together. If you grow, and they don’t want to, is the best answer really to just stop growing?
It wasn’t until I experienced healthy relationships that I learned that the following was normal, understandable, respectful, and actually available to me:
- Saying “no” when I knew that I needed to, without having to give a reason as to why. Them responding with understanding and it not affecting our relationship moving forward.
- Being able to choose not to respond or answer when I am not in the right frame of mind and them trusting that I will get back to them when I was able to.
- The ability to talk about my life as well and share conversations that felt equal, versus only ever being able to sustain conversation if it was about them.
- Them being able to tell me “no” or not respond to me, without me losing myself in anxiety over what I could’ve possibly done wrong and always be fearful of losing them.
I will never pretend that losing contact or relationships with those we care for is easy. However, if sinking back to where I was, preventing my own growth, family goals, personal and emotional health, and being someone I am not is what it takes to be with someone – I choose not to. Boundaries are meant to create long-lasting beautiful relationships, but it takes two willing participants. Be willing anyway, stay willing, and allow yourself to be yourself once again, or maybe for the very first time.
The other thing I know to be true? Those who commit themselves to this mindfully don’t regret it.
Courses on Boundaries, Heal from Codependency, Stewardship, and Rising Daughters are all available immediately for access to every active DYW member. Not only do you receive the self-paced video courses, but you get access to a monthly masterclass (including all the previous ones), bonus content, and email support with me.
Don’t wait… Join us today!
Now is the time to Discover Your Worth.