Not too long ago, I was engaged in a situation of which I ultimately allowed the perimeters of my boundaries to be violated. I accepted what I would usually consider unacceptable. My self-worth had become non-existent. My confidence was below zero. Although I strongly hope that the other parties concerned will one day accept responsibility for their actions, I must (and have) accept responsibility for my own in-action. The only person I can blame for allowing the perimeters of my personal boundaries to be breached, is myself.
Each of us has a mental line of personal space, the radius of which is different for each person, depending upon many factors. Within this boundary, only certain people are permitted to physically cross. This is a well-known and understood element. What many of us are not aware of, is that within this boundary, we include the behavior of others, as along with unconscious rules for how others treat us. Often, we may find ourselves feeling low on energy when we are in the vicinity of certain people, yet we are unaware of why we feel like this. It is likely, that the explanation lies within our boundaries. If we are allowing others to treat us in ways of which we don’t find acceptable, yet we are not asserting this, we are allowing them within our perimeters. We often continue to allow our perimeters to be crossed, until we finally feel we are backed up into a corner, in which case the likely scenario would be a breakdown.
For many of us, if we are not aware of what our personal boundaries are, it is unlikely that we will assert them. I like to suggest that my clients write down what their personal boundaries are. Writing them down solidifies the line, along with providing us the opportunity to check in with ourselves on a regular basis. Once we are very clear on what our boundaries are, we are then able to respectfully assert them. In my own story as above, if I had my boundaries written down and had ensured to assert them from the start, I would never have felt so deeply compromised in the way that I did.
“Lack of boundaries invites lack of respect.” This includes self-respect. It is in self-respect where we find the strength to become aware of our personal boundaries and assert them. For how can we request respect from others, if we do not show respect for ourselves?
The conclusion of my above situation was that I resigned from my employment. I found myself in a situation where I was left with less than zero confidence in a career of which I had worked for 30+ years. There was much to be fearful for. Aside from my sons appending Fijian wedding, we had a number of other financial constraints going on at the time. For me, the healing was in the realization that it was time to take a new path. Yet taking a new path was certainly a crash course in conquering fear!
Fear! We could write a book on it. My journey has highlighted many aspects of fear. It has shown itself in many corners, every nook and every cranny! I once read how fearless is exactly as it is written. Fear-Less. Less fear, not without fear as we often interpret it. We are required to lessen our fears, allowing us to master them. Push the limits of our comfort zone so that the parameter of our comfort zone extends, and our fear becomes less.
Rudyard Kipling said “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
This is another biggie! Its also not so easy to explain, as it is within the confinements of the unknown and outside of the physical spectrum.
With so many financial commitments and very limited income, I often found myself face to face with two options.
1. Bail out – go back to what I had gained experience and qualification in. Feel that fear of picking up my confidence and starting over. Or
2. Trust – let go of all fear, let go of all confinements I was making up in my head and TRUST.
Thankfully I opted for option two, trust. With this trust came everything I needed. The income flows sufficiently, the lessons flow considerably, the opportunities flow… you get the drift. Trusting is simply that. Trust that all will work out for the great of good. It can be a difficult exercise succumbing to trust, but the rewards are great.
I have achieved much personal healing since, what I call the beginning of my journey. I have gone through the process of grief, anger, resentment, forgiveness and love. I’m not sure if I have mastered fear, but I have certainly mastered the process of it. I now share my story with you, in the chance that it might be enough to help just one person who may take the time to read it.
I forgive the parties of whom I have referred to. I understand that just as I was triggered by their actions and words, they were also triggered by mine. I understand that just as my past has influenced the way I think, feel and behave, their past has influenced the way they think, feel and behave. I understand that they were only using the tools they possess in the way that they know how.
I forgive myself. I allowed my boundaries to be crossed, I did not communicate when my values were compromised, I did not speak up. For that, I forgive myself.
And to those of whom I allowed across the perimeters of my boundaries; I say “Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to see the opportunities I would have missed. Thank you for the trauma you stirred within me, for this was the closing of the door to that part of my life.”
And that’s what I have taken from this particular experience. I was taken to the bottom of a deep dark hole in order to find the light. More often than we realize, we are required to see the darkness of our lessons, so that we may feel our way to the light.
Disclaimer: This is the story of my truth. It is unlikely that other parties may see the same story in the same context as they will have their own truth. This is just my version.