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I recently had an experience of needing to set some boundaries where I live. It was very difficult to set them, because I had decided that I was willing to move rather than stay with unclear boundaries. By setting the boundaries, I finally had an ease where I live, and a comfort in a space where I call home.

Sometimes we need to honor ourselves by setting very clear boundaries with others. Since going through this experience, I have had many people call me with their concerns about boundaries within their own lives. I had a friend who gave so much of himself, that he was exhausted. I had another friend who ha been living with someone for over a year and still has not unpacked many of her items because she has not felt as if she has had permission to unpack, and is wondering whether to stay in the relationship.

It is sometimes difficult to put boundaries between ourselves and others or situations. If we do not set those boundaries, then the energy between yourself and others is unclear. It doesn’t give you or the other person permission to be themselves. When the energy is unclear, there is often a resentment, judgment, or fatigue due to energy leaks.

I have had many people tell me that they love themselves and the way that they do it is to put everyone else first. We can’t give to someone else fully and completely if we are too tired and have not taken care of ourselves. If we are holding resentment or judgment in our heart it is not due to the other person but it is what we hold deep inside from past hurts or decisions that needs to be healed. If we have proper boundaries and the other person is hurting us, we walk away. When we don’t care enough about ourselves, we often take it personally, and either feel we are the victim or feel guilty about standing up for our rights.

Many people who took on the caretaking role as children to get along in the family have a very hard time taking care of themselves. They feel that giving in to others, and making sure that their wishes are cared for before self that this is the highest form of love. But what it really is, is that the boundary of the self love is not strong enough to know that the other person has their own learning path too. If you do it all for them, then you are doing them a disservice by not allowing them to learn their path. If you don’t respect yourself, then how can the other person respect you?

It is important when setting boundaries that we understand how the other person thinks. As a woman, I often think with my emotions, how I feel about a situation. Many men think more concretely and don’t understand the emotional concept of the boundary. Communication is so important in any relationship, whether it is with our family, our significant other, friends, or even business relationships. It is dangerous to assume that the other person understands you when they don’t respond in the way that we expect them to.

In Hawaii there is a concept called ho’o ponopono. It means to make things right. It is a form of mediation where things are talked about until they are cleared up often with the help of someone skilled in ho’o ponopono. Families practiced the concept before they could eat together. Everything that needed to be talked about was settled before they could break bread. They knew that the stress of anger or upset did not allow us to digest our food well.

Even in skilled communication classes you learn to repeat back what the other person is saying and get clarification. Don’t expect the other person to understand what you’re saying when they have walked a different road than you have. The book “Men are from Mars Women are from Venus” is a good example of the difference in communication skills between men and women.

Often we do not set boundaries because we have already projected an outcome of how the other person will react if we own our own space. That is why it is so important to stay in present time. Our mind will try to play tricks on us to keep us in an uncomfortable comfort of an old way of doing things. It will try to keep us safe.

I would rather step out of my comfort zone from now on to be able to speak my truth by loving myself, honoring my space, and by doing so honoring the other person.

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