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Boundaries are beautiful

Jamieson Van Loan

I have become increasingly aware of my and others’ boundaries the further I go in life. The very blurred lines of my 20s have become very distilled and clear in my 30s. I look back on the rose-colored glasses of my younger days and cannot believe the naiveté that comes along with youth. Even now at my age, I am still battling where my boundaries lie. What I thought to be very rigid lines, have swayed in ways I wouldn’t have predicted and the more I experience connection and life, in general, my boundaries move and shift and seem very impermanent to say the least. As this has been a year of great growth and change, this seems spot on. But this fluidity has now made me reinforce the actual rigid boundaries that I need to hold sacred to myself, in order to live my day-to-day as true to myself as possible.

For example, I need yoga in my life. I just went two week without going and I am not going to lie, I felt (feel) like utter poop. I tried to remedy that feeling with delicious food and fancy fun with friends and I still felt a void. So what did this tell me? Don’t make yoga impermanent, make it a requirement. This is now a boundary. I choose yoga over other things in my life because it elevates my life. I vibrate higher. My self-care routine now has boundaries. Marker set in stone.

What else do I hold sacred? How do I value myself? Is this benefitting me or holding me back? Does this fall in line with how I foresee my future years? Is this feeding into who I truly am? These are questions I ask myself now in order to make sure my boundary choices are beneficial to my wellbeing. I need to know where I hold myself and foresee myself in this world in order to be self-aware enough to know where my firm borders lie.

Being a people pleaser, I always want to bend and compromise In order to appease people. But the more I remind myself of my value in this world, the less I want to compromise my stance. The less I want to say yes to the very firm no things. I am working on finding my boundaries and removing my guilt around not pleasing everyone. I love the quote, "givers need to set boundaries because takers rarely do".

Creating healthy boundaries within all our relationships- partner, work, family- is incredibly important but also recognizing that your boundaries belong to you and you alone. They are not meant to control other people. They are not meant to include other people. Your boundaries are your way of protecting your person, not infringing on others. By not setting boundaries, you ultimately set yourself up for hurt and resentment.

Be very aware of people who push and manipulate your boundaries. There are people who have little regard for your sacred space. And sometimes we are blind to these boundary-pushers, but once you realize how they weasel their way around your walls, be diligent in your response. Speak up and own your space. If they respect you, they will respect your boundaries. And if they don’t, adios.

Do not be afraid of people’s responses to your boundaries. Own them. Be direct about them. Tune into your feelings and know your limitations in situations. Boundaries are meant to be healthy. They are meant to foster a sound self-concept and protect the beauty of you.

Knowing deeply who you are and where you are headed leads to stronger boundaries. Boundaries are highly beneficial and beautiful. Say no to everything and everyone that does not nurture who you are at your core.

Your future self will thank you.

Jamieson xo