Ripples #1251: Healthy Boundaries
May 15, 2023
Take care of yourself. You have to draw healthy boundaries around your own soul so that you can reach the destiny of greatness that’s within you.
-Dr. Ed Creagan, shared by Donna in Owings, MD
Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.
-Anna Taylor, shared by Christina in Georgia
Have you ever had that thing happen where someone asks you for help with something and a little voice deep in your soul whisper “You need to say no,” even as you hear the words “Sure, I’ll do it” pour out of your mouth? That might be your inner wise one trying to set boundaries while getting overridden by insecurities, ego or fear.
I recently spent some time with my Patreon Peeps exploring how to build better boundaries, those precious structures that define and protect our needs, expectations, and limitations. They help us identify and communicate what is acceptable and unacceptable in relationships with others, and I think they can improve the connection we have to ourselves, too. When employed correctly, they help us improve both our effectiveness and our enjoyment in work, school, and life.
The first thing we have to do is recognize our limits: like it or not, we humans have a finite amount of time, energy, and bandwidth. A key part of living a successul and enriching life is recognizing and honoring those limits. It may seem like bad news to discover that we cannot possibly get done all the things we daydream about doing while also tending to the unending requests that other people make of our time and attention. The good news, though, is that once we confront and embrace our finitude we’re well on our way to making wiser choices about how to spend our precious time and attention.
The next step is to identify our primary needs and hopes so we can begin noticing how much of our energy is getting drained by the less important stuff, and gradually reshape our priorities and schedule around the more important stuff. It is a challenging and never ending process, and it includes making tough choices and occasionally letting down people we care about. It’s also incredibly rewarding to be able to more consistently show up with our best self while tending to the projects and people we’ve identified as most important.
There’s more to say about all of this, of course. You’re welcome to watch the video replay on YouTube or catch the audio by tracking down the latest episode of The Ripples Pondcast wherever you listen to podcasts. My favorite part of the talk is unpacking the WHYs and HOWs of saying NO…but I’m gonna wait and share a little more about that in next week’s Ripples.
Why wait? Well, because..finitude! There’s only so much time & energy for this week’s Ripples. Look at that, Boundaries in action! 🥳
P.S. A huge shout out to my Patreon Peeps who pitch in a few bucks each month to keep the Ripples flowing. If you’d like to join us, we have a lot of fun hanging out in Zoomy Zooms, and the more Peeps that pitch in, the more good stuff we can ripple out into the world!