Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by. Sarah and I have the privilege of bringing to you a look into boundaries and what they can do for you. We decided that this is not an extensive or exhaustive intercultural or inter-generational list and is also not a substitute for receiving help from a licensed therapist or counselour. We wish to shed light on our personal experiences with boundaries and what has worked, what hasn’t and how that aligns with principles set forth with those licensed and with relevant education. Without further ado, here is Sarah, my co-blog writer, introducing herself:
“I’m Sarah and I’m the founder of Empowered by Sarah- a women’s life coaching service. By coaching women all over the world, I serve to make a difference one beautiful soul at a time. I coach to empower women to lead their FULLEST lives through mental and physical fulfillment, untangle the web of who society has told you to be and to find out who YOU are. I am here as your guide and confidante to help you discover that the answer to these lie within you, regardless of the twists and turns your path may have taken, or the valleys and mountains you have had to traverse. Together, we will discover and navigate through your deepest rooted emotions and past traumas, spirituality, relationships, intimacy, sexuality and well-being. We will work to uncover the core of your soul as it was meant to be- no guilt, no shame, no apprehensions but with true confidence and power. “
To prepare for the article, Sarah and I have read emotional management and emotionally spent as a spring board for our discussion on boundaries. For the full outline of what boundaries are, how to identify them and how you can recreate them, Visit her at Empowered by Sarah.
Note: Sarah and I will be dropping a word maybe unfamiliar to you.
Gremlin: Your inner critic that tells you, in one way or another, that you’re not good enough.
It is our hope that we can help you realize that we all have our gremlins and this is not something that needs to hold us back from living our lives.
Emotional management embodies how we invest our individual energies in expressing feeling, emotion, action, inaction. Factors in our lives impact how we think, feel, sense and engage within our perceived worlds and how we perceive ourselves within it. How we choose to show up ultimately determines our ability to follow through on any tangible or intangible circumstance in our lives. At this point, boundaries come into play. We feel bad therefore something must be wrong. It is completely normal to feel bad because that is as part of being human as the warm and fuzzy stuff. Realistically, though, boundaries help us treat ourselves better. Boundaries are part of navigating our way around our emotional state.
Sarah and I realize there are discrepancies across cultures and generations as far as boundaries are concerned. As far as our own upbringings, we are both born and raised in America and can share what anecdotes we have regarding our experiences here. What we sense, is that a lack of boundaries is more of a personal responsibility not so much as another’s person or things trespasses. We essentially lack boundaries for ourselves and we are at the mercy of circumstances rather than CHOOSING how to feel. We talked about how, so often, we leave these scripts to ourselves uncorrected, we then turn to our internal negative voice obeying our script to believe things that just aren’t true for ourselves and our potential in life. News flash: everyone does this. Boundaries could truly come into play here. Talking about needing boundaries with ourselves is nothing to be ashamed of and that is why I choose to collaborate voices with Ms. Crisp so you can realize despite our diversity, our humanity is as one.
Being emotionally spent is the act of feeding our thoughts, feelings and emotions into untrue beliefs about ourselves, or others. We fall prey to negative thoughts and feelings existing in our hearts and minds, and it leaves us feeling exhausted, upended, bitter, sad and jaded. We are the driving force behind feeling emotionally spent. You may recognize being emotionally spent when you are constantly feeling provoked, you fight, push back and get left feeling worse than when you started. Perhaps, out of entitlement or pride, self-loathing, low self-esteem or something more, we continue to do this. We all get our buttons pushed and have reacted to it before. This habitual behavior can lead us to options like pointing the blame, projecting, accepting or settling with an outcome, and reverberating in that angry mob mentality — we see what we feel inside — and we feel bad so let’s all feel bad because we can.
Here are Sarah’s thoughts on emotional management, being emotionally spent and boundaries.
K [This is me]: What does emotional management mean for you?
S [This is Sarah]: Having boundaries because they allow you to create time and space for yourself to nourish your mental, physical and emotional needs.
K: How do you become emotionally spent?
S: One can become emotionally spent from having a lack of boundaries with self, parents, co-workers, friends, partners.
K: What can having a lack of boundaries look like?
S: These things can show up differently depending on the context and what your relationship may be with the person involved. Feeling the need to overexert oneself to ‘fix’ others or to ensure their happiness or well-being. Suppressing emotions in fear of hurting or upsetting other reactions. Lapsing into unhealthy communication styles (i.e. yelling, gaslighting, blaming) where your needs are not expressed or unheard. Feeling exhausted from consistently fulfilling demands or requests from friends or family. Constantly jumping in to mediate situations between self and or others to ensure all parties are happy AKA peacekeeping. Often telling others “That’s okay,” “Don’t worry,” “No problem,” when there actually is an issue. Prioritizing others’ needs before your own, making time for others but not for yourself. Wanting to appear “easy,” agreeable or compliant at all times. Consistently going out of your way to do things for others.
K: What are common feelings and emotions that come up when you do not set boundaries?
S: Feeling drained, feeling resentment, lack of energy, dull, numb, irritable, tired, sick, defensive or anxious.
K: What ideas (gremlins) can be associated with these lack of boundaries?
S: Feeling unworthy of love, often stemming from a lack of self-love, fear of rejection, abandonment attachments, feeling that it is not okay to express yourself or others will become upset or dislike you, fear of appearing, and the need for acknowledgment and or validation through others.
Overall, Sarah senses that our actions stem from these “gremlins” and patterns that may have been modeled (or lack thereof) from childhood. [In other words] did we feel unappreciated as a child? [Were we] fighting for attention and compensating for this by becoming people pleasing? etc..
K: How can we help others to realize the physical hold an idea (gremlin) can have on us?
S: Self work (books, coaching, therapy, healing, retreats). Figure out what your boundaries actually are by becoming aware of your emotions when they come up — What are you feeling in your body? What thoughts are you thinking? Practice awareness: recognizing in which patterns, situations, your gremlins tend to arise. Are these patterns you can recognize from somewhere such as childhood, a past abusive relationship, etc.. [Ask yourself] how are they showing up now? [Ask yourself] how is that serving you? Give yourself permission to express your boundaries. Start with the small things until you are more comfortable! Practice clear communication with others using, “I feel…when you….” statements (avoid blaming or shaming, keep the conversation about yourself). Be direct about what you are communicating and asking for. Taking responsibility for your feelings and gremlins, learning not to take things personally. Releasing gremlins and clearing your energy by expressing emotions in safe environments, doing energy healing work, journaling, being physically active. Seek support — bonding with a tribe of other men and women, etc..
K: What are common feelings and emotions when you do set boundaries?
S: Self-love, nourishment, excitement, energy, fulfillment, a positive mindset, peace, calm.
For me, I feel boundaries flux and flow depending on what I feel I can or cannot do in any given circumstance. If I feel I am able to be there for another and not take what they are going through personally, I am willing to and able to be present for them in a compassionate and caring way. If There are other factors influencing me, rendering me somewhere else, it is difficult for me to be present for another, even in an affirming capacity when they gave gone through something uplifting. Trust your gut and stand up for yourself if you feel for certain the challenge in any interaction lies within you, realize that you have that power to be kind to yourself, and honest, about how you are feeling. There is a time and place for feeling well, feeling unwell, feeling uncertain, and feeling a mixture of any of these. It is up to you to decide what feels right for you.
Perhaps, you are in your comfort zone and reading all of this is uncomfortable for you. That is okay. Maybe you feel riled up, affirmed, comforted, apathetic, who knows? Only you, or someone you plan on telling in the next few moments. You can even contact Sarah or I; we would be honored to hear more about what feelings are coming up for you.
Here is more about Sarah before we close the end of November.
K: What is one time you can think of where you gave in to that lurking voice inside your head?
S: One of my tendencies as a young adult was to often fall into a people-pleasing mode. For me this meant packing my schedule with events, meetings, dates or whatever it might be to make sure that I was surrounded by others. It was very important to me that they ‘liked me’, and at the time, the only way I knew how to achieve this was to please them. This often resulted in me being at other’s disposal, whether they liked it or not. I was constantly going out of my way to do things for others, paying for things, overbooking myself so that I could say ‘yes’ to every invitation.
K: What are your thoughts and feelings about that experience you had?
S: If I’m not going out of my way to please someone, they will dislike me and therefore I am not worthy of love.
One last question I asked Sarah, that you can find the answer for yourself by reaching out to her, is below:
K: Having the knowledge and experience you do now, let us give you the chance to revisit yourself in that moment. What would you say to yourself to help process through that experience?
Join me in thanking Sarah for opening up and sharing your truest feelings about the topic on boundaries. Sarah, thank you for being present and taking the time to reveal to us some nuggets that have worked for you in creating healthy boundaries for yourself in your journey through life.
We all have boundaries, spoken, unspoken, conscious, subconscious. There is a double-edged sword to creating boundaries which Sarah and I communicated through our discourse. Boundaries we exercise which are relayed to us in our younger years serves as a heavy influence in how we engage with phenomena, both tangible and intangible. Practicing self-awareness, and finding others you trust, is a great starting point and foundation for finding answers when creating boundaries. We believe in you. You are awesome. You are amazing and you CAN.
If you wish to connect with Sarah and you do not have a facebook and you have an instagram, please find me here. If you wish to connect with me and share what is on your mind, you can follow the same clickable link and send me a message of what your heart is telling you to share. Thank you for all the love and support from iPEC family members, friends, loved ones and thank you, Ms. Crisp, for choosing to share this space with me. Here’s to the culmination of 2018.