Why we don't set boundaries

I rode my bike this morning; and everything frightened me.  Every dog that I rode past, in my mind, was going to attack me.  Every car that drove past me, in my mind, was going to hit me. Every tree branch that went past my tires was, in my mind, was going to flip me over the handlebars.   I’ve ridden my bike regularly for years, and this is my own neighborhood- but fear was still there. It’s always layered underneath my smile and my sweet words. But it’s a silent killer.

Have I really approached my whole life with such fear? Fear is what kept me from setting boundaries, for so long.

 photo by Richard Casteel

photo by Richard Casteel

If you don’t know how to set boundaries, your life is going to be shittier. Sounds basic- but it’s true. We aren’t taught how to set boundaries; we don’t know what words to say and we don’t always know the outcome so we avoid it.

But when we do it; set boundaries- our energy shifts.

Often, to set a boundary, you don’t even have to say anything. It’s a thought, an intention, a change that happens INSIDE.

But we think setting boundaries means confrontation. So we shy away from it. We’re scared shitless of hurting someone else or sounding mean.

However, setting boundaries is loving.  Because it’s compassion. It’s having compassion for self and for other.  Because when you set boundaries- you clear resentment. Nothing is swept under the rug anymore. It brings clarity.

Forget self-care and eating healthy and having the perfect career or the best house or knowing exactly how your life is going to look; if you don’t know how to set boundaries; you’re giving someone else control over your life.  

It happens over and over and over again.  

And each time, we say “what if” he/she changes? “What if” this time it works?  

“What if” isn’t real.

What’s real is doing what’s right; what’s best for your heart and your soul.  But often, even though we need to set a boundary, we don’t do it and so every decision or thought that comes from not setting that boundary is OUT of alignment with the deepest parts of ourselves. And that blocks the flow of energy. It shuts off the heart. It closes the mind.

And so you see people in the same situations that have been repeating themselves since they were small.

For me, it’s always in the form of a woman- this is the case for most.

When we don’t heal our Mother wound (don’t worry- we’ve all got one) our “mother” keeps showing up; in teachers, in girlfriends, in colleagues, in friends- she’ll show up time and time again until we face her.

When we stop avoiding, when we dust off the cobwebs and straighten the picture frame- we feel more alive, and more like the person we want to be.

Avoidance is the ego.  It’s us not wanting to totally break apart and GO THERE> but often, when we JUST.DO.IT, we see that it’s not really as scary as we always thought.

I have learned to set boundaries inside of myself first.  And I’ve learned that my own “mother” replay happens less and less.  My life is more full of things that feel good to me, and less full of conflicts and drama and just plain unhappiness.

What patterns keep showing up in your life?  Where does your Mother-wound keep coming up?

Click here to download my free Inner Clarity workbook to discover your patterns and learn how to finally break free from them.