Boundaries were, shall we say, “permeable,” in my family. Pretty much invisible. Healthy boundaries were not recognized.
So in self-defense, I learned to set them pretty young. Not that it worked, not until I was out on my own. But for the most part, I’ve set limits and tried to set healthy boundaries my whole life.
Many of us, especially women, mistake setting limits for being selfish.
Not the same thing.
When we set limits and define boundaries, we’re doing what’s best for us. It’s part of a healthy life. Still, it’s hard for so many women. Setting limits, defining boundaries, doing what’s best for us –these are all part of a healthy life. And yet, it’s our culture doesn’t necessarily support it. Or rather, our identities may not.
Perhaps it’s partly because women are moms and in that role, there are many years when the family has to come first. Certainly, while kids are young, it’s imperative to put their needs first.
But as children grow up and out of the house, many women are out of the habit of doing for themselves. Of looking after their own happiness. Sometimes, they end up in dysfunctional relationships with children who are trying to be independent. Sometimes they find themselves lost, without an identity. And unhappy.
Let’s talk setting limits
Today I’m starting a series that discusses some of the aspects of setting our own boundaries to live a healthier life. I’ll cover caregiving, “helping” and the inability to say no. Among other things. I’d love you to participate in the discussion in the Comments or on social media.
So let’s start with Thought #1: It’s my job to make me happy.
Reflect on that for a moment.
How does it feel?
Does it make you uncomfortable?
It’s true, though. You have a right to be happy.
And that’s where we’ll start this series. Just think about this idea until the next time.