“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.”
I can feel when someone is violating a boundary because my body tenses up. I realize that my breathing is very shallow. I feel trapped, small, helpless. The first thing I do is to remind myself to breathe. The act of focusing on my breath centers me and expands the energy around me. In this space, I can think and act more clearly. When I feel myself becoming too overwhelmed, I try to immediately remove myself from the situation. Sometimes all it takes is a couple minutes to walk away and regain my balance. Other times, I have had to make the decision not to spend time with people who consistently drain my energy.
Having a safe space to retreat, practicing mindfulness and meditation, or visualizing a protective shield around yourself are other methods that can help restore balance when boundaries are invaded. Closing the door, taking a step back, shaking your head, or signaling with your hands can be less threatening ways of letting others know what you will and won’t accept from them.
I respect and love myself enough to recognize when something isn’t healthy for me, and I am confident enough to set clear boundaries to protect myself. Writing became therapeutic for me. I found myself that I could say things in writing, yet I’m unable to verbalize to neither my Mama nor anyone.
Mama used to tell, that nobody can be responsible for your happiness and healing, only you can. Seeing my truth on paper was the ultimate form of validation for me. I no longer needed to be “perfect.” I gave myself permission to be authentic and honored every feeling that came up.