Most of us are in the Holisitic Health profession because we’re healers in some form or another. We perceive the pain and confusion of others, we’re aware they don’t have to live that way, and we often have information that can help them move beyond it. Because of this, we frequently work with people who are feeling the need for something they’ve been unable to provide for themselves – emotional support, answers, attention, belief in possibilities, clearer connection with Spirit, physical support…. Most are very respectful of our professional time and some consistently linger for a few more minutes after a session is done, call for follow-up conversations, or try to get professional attention during social encounters.
Even though we all understand about creating our own realities, we also remember times when we couldn’t figure out how to do that and how helpless or frustrated we felt. Those memories can become hooks that lead us into caring for others to our own detriment rather than teaching them to become empowered. Showing up as someone who holds compassionate, healthy boundaries provides others with a living example of one of the foundation blocks for creating their own reality – deciding what they will and won’t participate in.
Compassionate, healthy boundaries take both you and the other person into account and allow for flexibility. They show up in the loving and firm “no” to requests and invitations that don’t interest you or are detrimental to your well-being. They show up in knowing when it’s really ok with you to set your desires or needs aside for the good of another. They show up in the ability to ask for what you need. They show up in the enthusiastic “yes” to requests and invitations that interest you or align with your well-being.
Healthy boundaries come from within you. They’re not rules someone else makes and you decide to follow. They originate in your sense of integrity and the wisdom of your own body and soul. They don’t keep you in or keep others out. They provide you with a permeable energy field that is strong enough to secure your access to your own wisdom and flexible enough to incorporate life’s surprises.
If you find yourself saying “yes” when you want to say “no”; saying “no” when you want to say “yes”; or saying “yes” or “no” more forcefully than you’d like; strengthen your boundaries. Begin this strengthening by acknowledging that, un-evolved as it may seem, there actually is some part of you that wants to be rescued or saved by something or someone outside of yourself. Next, take time to notice the circumstances under which you feel external events shaping your moment. Give yourself permission to consciously know what within you is so hungry that it feels nourished by believing external circumstances can create your reality. Now look within. When you find that hungry part of you, forgive yourself for feeding it a junk-food diet of victim-who’s-seeking-salvation and then fill it up with a healthy diet of compassionate, self-generated empowerment.