Healthy boundaries are imperative in every business, volunteer venture, and relationship you have.
Sadly, I learned first hand how much pain not having boundaries can create. It will pull you down and have a negative impact on you and your life.
Not having boundaries has many negative effects.
- causes conflict within self and with others
- lowers your self-esteem and confidence
- makes you feel out of control and overwhelmed
- causes confusion and lack of clarity of what actions to take
- makes focus difficult making it difficult to achieve your goals
I learned how painful it is to be a giver without boundaries.
I’m a people pleaser to the core. I love helping others and building relationships. I am a go-getter and the moment there is something to get done, I am on it like a moth to a flame. I hate to have things incomplete.
This last year my lack of boundaries with my clients, my co-workers, my team, military spouse boards, and the support groups I facilitate came to a head. I learned that not having boundaries can leave you devastated and deeply hurt. Let me share two situations that happened to me.
I love my clients! I love them with all of my heart. But, when I launched my company; Spiritual Lighthouse Healing and Guidance, I was in for a rude awakening because I lacked clear boundaries with my team and clients.
Lack of boundaries negatively affected me personally as well as my marriage, and even the relationship with my children.
When Spiritual Lighthouse Healing and Guidance first launched I was over the moon! I had worked so hard and been through so much pain to get to this moment; of turning my horrific story into a business. (you can read more about my story here)
Obviously, I was very invested in the success of my company. I was working 24/7 and answering every email, phone call, text, and social media message I was receiving as soon as they appeared on my phone. morning, noon, and night. As you can guess, this need to please and my obsession to be there for everyone went very badly.
It was exhausting and left no time or energy for my self-care, my children, my husband, or friendships.
But, it gets worse.
Most of my clients have either lost a child, been raped, molested, abused, are recovering alcoholics and/or drug users, and divorcees.
My clients have stories and testimonies from their childhood and teenage years that would bring you to your knees. The amount of mental, physical & sexual abuse and loss these women have suffered is tremendous.
Hearing the stories of what they have endured shakes me to my core. Each time I take on a new client and hear their story my heart breaks. Sometimes I have to remind myself this is reality because it is so unbelievable and holding space for these women takes a ton of energy.
Before I take on a client and place them under my wing, I pray over them and meditate on their story to determine if they are a right fit for me, and that I can truly help heal them from the inside out. So when they become my client I care deeply for them and give them my undivided attention for as long as it takes to heal them.
STOP RIGHT HERE. Re-read what I just wrote. And then add to it that I am a TOTAL EMPATH. And I mean total, which is why creating healthy boundaries has become imperative to my work.
Let me now get to the point. In my first ever Healing Cocoon (virtual) Program I took on TWENTY-TWO women, at one time, under my wing. Which means taking on twenty-two stories, twenty-two lives, and twenty-two families all at once; created a recipe for disaster. The first couple of weeks were so hard on me and my family because I had NO BOUNDARIES.
Giving without boundaries will be your demise
Praise the good Lord that just after two short weeks I had a rude awakening that something needed to change with my business and it needed to change IMMEDIATELY. I needed to add firm and clear boundaries that very day or this “Helping You Heal” business was going to drown me.
Not only was I exhausting physical energy I was also emotionally low because as an empath I was taking on their pain. My family took the brunt of the consequences of my lack of boundaries and it was causing a major rift in my marriage, as well as my relationship with my children.
I came close to convincing myself that just taking one shot of alcohol wouldn’t harm a soul. Boy, was that a lie I was telling myself. Praise God I didn’t give in to the temptation and now I have beautiful boundaries set up in my program and with all of my clients. If they violate them, I immediately release them from my program and my one-on-one client care. It’s just not worth it to me.
Boundaries with his ex-wife
Example number two is my husband, Jeff’s, ex-wife. Enough said…as I’m sure you can already guess that this one has the potential to not end very pretty.
This lady has put me through hell and back. The pain she has caused me, my marriage, and my children and the stories I could tell you of the things she has done to us would shatter your heart and bring you to your knees.
But, with that said, this has ironically also been one of the hardest boundaries I have ever had to set in my life because it all not only affects me, but it greatly also affects both my biological children and my bonus children.
It was necessary for my marriage, and to protect my own children, to work at creating boundaries with my husband’s ex-wife to protect us all.
I set up a safe – space boundary and I blocked her on all social media
I refuse to let her impact my marriage no matter how hard she tries
I pray for her regularly
If I have to interact, I am calm and cordial as possible, refusing to let her see how much she ruffles my feathers which is her motivation.
I had to get my husband on board with creating boundaries and protecting mine as well, or we were going to have big time issues.
I pray that after you read these two stories you will see the importance of setting boundaries and how those boundaries can protect you.
Boundaries can be set ANYWHERE you need them in your life.
Heck, I’ve even had to set a boundary with my own Mother and that’s perfectly OK.
YOU deserve a happy life!
YOU deserve a safe life!
YOU deserve respect from others to HONOR YOUR BOUNDARIES, my friend.
So do yourself the honor and create them!
Guidelines to create boundaries
Boundaries should be set to ensure mentally, physical and emotional stability in your life.
- Be considerate of who you share personal details with
- Be thoughtful about how much of your story you share
- Be honest about your needs
- Understand what you value and communicate them by how you live
- Let your no be no, and your yes be yes.
- Stop saying yes immediately, tell them you will think about it
- Know your own limits and what you won’t tolerate
- Separate yourself from people who will not honor your boundary
- Asserting boundaries my make others uncomfortable and that is ok
- Ask for permission to ask personal questions
- Have self respect, others will never respect you more than you respect yourself
Communicate and share your boundaries
- Communicate verbally what your boundaries are
- Immediately reiterate you boundaries (politely) when they are violated
- Uphold boundaries for yourself that you expect others to abide by
- Let people know when something makes you uncomfortable
- You don’t need to apologize when you have to say no
- Start with what is most important to your well being
- Set boundaries early on when you meet new people
- Be consistent
Setting boundaries you will live a much happier, healthier, and fruitful life!!