BOUNDARY SETTING AND FORGIVENESS START WITH SELF-LOVE
This week I posted a video about forgiveness in my private Facebook group Living Purposefully and it occurred to me that I needed to touch on something else.
Forgiveness, setting boundaries and self-love all go hand-in-hand.
I have family members, and ex-family members, toward whom I used to hold great resentments. I say all the time that I am not perfect and need to practice what I preach. It doesn't always come naturally to me. For instance, I still have to fight the impulse to hold onto resentments.
Resentments will often creep up during the holidays. Well, not so much creep up – more like come up from behind and jump us.
When faced with a personal problem with a family member, it may seem like the easier path would be to just stay silent and clench rather than put up healthy boundaries.
We tell ourselves to just get through this one party and let it roll off our backs.
Many times our families and friends even put pressure on us to just forgive and forget in order to “save the peace”.
Well, what about my peace?!
Forgiveness is not about forgetting everything the other person did to us and just moving forward because we are the bigger person. That approach is super unhealthy and toxic.
It is something we do for ourselves. It is one of the most amazing expressions of self-love that we can gift ourselves with.
It is about finding inner peace and serenity for ourselves, and it starts with a solid foundation of self-love.
But what happens when we forgive the person but they continue to mistreat us?
Then we need to set a boundary.
Love on Yourself
When my clients are struggling with holding onto anger and resentment toward another person, I start by asking them why they think they deserve that treatment.
First, I work on building up their confidence and self appreciation so that they are ready to institute a much needed boundary between them and the offending party.
When struggling to find the strength to stand up to a situation or person, I find that boundary affirmations help.
Try saying these affirmations aloud in the mirror to yourself every day.
I have a right to feel my feelings. Others have the right to their feelings, as well.
I am worthy and deserving of setting and maintaining boundaries.
I deserve to feel happy and comfortable.
Every day I become clearer about the boundaries that serve me best.
I will choose boundaries that help me live, create and serve to my fullest potential.
Each time I honor my boundaries I feel more confident to express my needs and create space for myself.
I curate healthy and happy relationships.
What is a Personal Boundary?
Personal boundaries provide rules for how we want to be treated. They can limit our interactions with another person, or set reasonable and safe guidelines for how those interactions will take place.
When we set boundaries, we do it for ourselves, not as a threat or punishment to the other person.
A boundary could be as simple as acknowledging that another person has treated you poorly, and asking him or her to no longer treat you that way.
Perhaps you say, “Listen, I understand you treat other people that way, but please do not treat me that way because it really bums me out and I want to stay close.”
Many of us have “family situations” going into the holidays:
Toxic or fake people who treat us badly
People who purposefully neglect to include us in things
When this is the case the best thing we can do (if we love ourselves) is to set a boundary.
Sometimes I’ll outright refuse to go to certain events or parties. Sorry, Jeff. Not going. Have fun.
If I do go, I make sure to limit the amount of time I spend there, and plan ahead on who I’ll sit with or talk to so I don’t get too close to that person.
Sock it to Me, Sock it to Me, Sock it to Me, Sock it to Me...
We never set a boundary out of anger or resentment because those boundaries will never benefit us in the long run. A benefiting boundary is only set once we acknowledge that we are putting it in place out of self-love and self-respect.
Figure out what types of behaviors you will or will not tolerate from other people, and then set a boundary if needed because you know you deserve better.
People are going to be who they're going to be. We can't change other people. We can only change our response to their behavior.
Boundaries are not set to keep the other person out of your space so that you never have to deal with them, either. The boundary is all about you and living up to your full potential. It should foster incredible feelings of harmony, alignment, comfort and confidence.
Do you feel like you are continually harmed by family members, friends or co-workers who do hurtful things?
Are you negatively affected by people who say mean things, treat you with disrespect, or talk behind your back?
That needs to stop. Now.
The ultimate act of self-love is to set a boundary and start living life surrounded by people who support and love you - because you deserve it!
Rule 1 - it will get worse before it gets better.
Expect that the other person will have a problem with the boundary. That's not too hard to imagine, right?
They are NOT going to like it, because they benefit from you allowing them to treat you poorly.
They will start to swirl and maybe even pull out the big guns to try and take you down. Stay strong and keep enforcing your boundary.
Finally, Forgive and Forgive Finally
Now that we have created a boundary that makes us feel all the good vibes, we need to complete the process with forgiveness.
Again, forgiveness is for us.
We are forgiving this person for their injustice, action or abuse because we love ourselves more than we care about the damage that person did.
When we forgive we give ourselves the freedom of inner peace and serenity.
And remember, forgiveness doesn't mean we just move on act like nothing happened. That is not forgiveness and if we try to do that it will only create feelings of resentment, anger and bitterness.
It is all about you, girl. Tell yourself, "Enough is enough. I forgive this person and I'm moving forward."
Have a great week, friends! Let me know if you set a boundary this week or practiced forgiveness!
With gratitude, Brooke
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