Meeting my boundaries

I’m currently missing my desktop computer. Which has crashed after a decade of almost daily usage. I’m working behind the dusty scenes on getting it fixed. If taking it to the local repair shop doesn’t revive it and hundreds need to be spent on new parts I’ll just have to say goodbye to a ten-year-old friendship and start another. I’ve given myself a week to decide. Now I’ve also made a pact with myself that if it comes down to purchasing a new desktop, I will make full use of it through photos. I mentioned the lack of photos in my previous blog post and those that came before that one. Fingers crossed at my determination. 

Now while my computer either undergoes some surgery or a complete makeover. I too could do with some TLC. I had one of those days where everything seemed to be going well until parts of it came crashing down because my self-worth was put on hold. At the time I really didn’t know what to make of the small matter, all I knew was the emotions I felt and how quickly I wanted them to pass. It wasn’t until I logged onto Facebook and saw a post on boundaries by Tabbasum Sabir (Coach). I read the post all the way through to the final full-stop. My feelings resonated with each line. I looked up the term mental boundaries, to get a little more insight and see what I could learn and improve.

I figured if I was going to start somewhere I would begin by asking Google a very simple question “what are personal boundaries?”. Within blinking seconds Google delivered a number of pages worth of handy sources. Despite all the links, this isn’t a subject that has been addressed much. Most articles raised the matter by breaking it down into specific categories such as workplace boundaries or relationship boundaries. Up until a few days ago, I would put my emotional experiences down to past triggers. Not knowing anything about the term personal boundaries. I’d often question my own reactions and felt guilty for being in a low mood. This was the case till a few articles ago.

Taking what I could from my mini research, I learned it’s through boundaries we draw an invisible line in the ground solely to create a healthy, happy, joyous life, both physically and mentally. Though there’s a constant struggle of keeping the line in place, our personal boundaries get trampled on and become an external dumping ground by intruders. The invasion only takes a few stomps

Boundaries establish the personal guidelines and ground rules we lay before others. They descry our limits, desires, needs and expectations. Putting them in place needs no explanation. I personally see the drawn line as a foundation for a grander fence that takes a heap of time and dedication to build. When one pillar is broken, damages will be caused to the rest of the attached panel. Naturally causing us to feel a mixture of unwanted emotions that need to be pieced back together. Each of those fragments holds a portion of our self-esteem and self-worth. 

There are different types of personal boundaries: physical, emotional, time and energy, intellectual and material. For each category it is important to honour and receive respect equally, this is not a one-way street. Speaking from my own experience, too many times knowingly and unknowingly my boundary line has been crossed. I put my happiness on pause for others or give away too much of my time and energy even though it drains me. I do all this without saying a single word despite feeling upset, hurt, stressed or anxious. With each emotion I feel, I must learn it’s not selfish to say no and an essential step to my self-care.

Unfortunately, personal boundaries don’t have hologram signs saying “no trespassing” or “one at a time”. I for one need to make my rose-tinted bubble a little more visible through firm communication. Starting from now.

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