I recently decided to start a podcast to explore the topic of Truth. In my mind as I currently have it, this will be a six-part series entirely focused on the workings of the inner voice. Below is the transcript for episode 7. You can listen to the episode on Spotify, or by clicking here.
Transcript to the Podcast:
Episode 7: Boundaries
Welcome to Always Say the Unsaid. My name is Maria.
Truth? I’m surprised at myself for being back here, making this podcast. It was only ever meant to be an essay of sorts, broken into 6 parts–the first 6 episodes–but I found myself wanting to talk about another thing, and that thing matched with my overall theme, and here I am.
Maybe this will be the last one. Maybe there will be more to come… honestly, I don’t know. At this point this podcast is operating on my whim more than any preset intention. So for today, here we go.
The subject that felt important enough for me to want to come back here to talk about is the subject of boundaries. Let’s say it together slowly: Boouuundarrrriiiiiiiessssss.
Boundaries. These wonderful yet scary yet necessary things. Boundaries are something I have struggled so much with, and the lack of boundaries in, I would say, the majority of my life, has created so many obstacles that I have later had to work around. Self-imposed obstacles, making my own life more difficult and challenging because I thought it was more important to please others than myself–whether because I was too shy, or wanted to impress, or was scared, or whatever.
I’ve had to do a lot of work on myself in order to figure out where the lack of boundaries within myself originated. That was work that I needed to do, in order to heal. I needed to heal, in order to begin establishing boundaries. And as I establish boundaries, I continue to heal. It’s the telltale ripple effect–once you get started, you find the strength you need in order to keep going.
Because I don’t like to talk about life lessons or personal development that I haven’t actually experienced, I didn’t add this to my original “essay”, but I have been actively practicing boundaries for a few months now, and it has become apparent that on the journey toward being your most true, authentic self, boundaries are critical. They are literally what keeps you trekking on the right path, rather than ending up wayward… in the middle of a field somewhere, completely lost and confused as to how you got there. We need our boundaries to keep us in a state of remembering our purpose.
So what happens when we let go of our boundaries? Or when our boundaries are weak? On a basic level, of course, we allow other people to walk all over us, to decide for us how our time, our bodies, our lives, get used. On a higher level, we are telling ourselves, our hearts, and the universe at large that we don’t matter, that we prefer to stay small, that we aren’t looking to attract our best lives. We feel depleted. We feel tired. We know in our gut that we don’t want to do the thing, and we do the thing anyway, and we get angry at ourselves. And that anger festers, making us even more tired.
We’re not talking about the necessary things. We’re not talking about going to work even though we don’t feel like it, we all still have to pay the bills. But if, at work, you are asked to do tasks that are way out of alignment with your integrity, you will feel the pull within you to set a boundary. You may choose to do the thing anyway, because you need the job. We’ve all been there. But the act of it alone is enough to throw you off course.
Or what if an old high school classmate suddenly wants to get together. What if it’s someone you were happy to leave in your past, and how there is nothing in your being that feels excited or enticed about a get together. Do you think to yourself, what’s one coffee going to hurt? It’s just one hour of my time. Or do you say, No thank you, even if it means there’s a chance you’ll come across as rude?
I’m learning that following my boundaries, by listening to myself and only doing what feels right for me at that time, makes me feel stronger. Less depleted. Less tired. I am remembering pieces of myself, the pieces that got swept aside whenever I doormatted myself. These pieces are important to the overall puzzle of my life. It is my responsibility to hold on to them, to protect them, and to not give someone else the power to take them from me.
A part of the responsibility we have to ourselves, to our hearts, to our souls, to our lives, and to our personal integrity, is to understand where our lines are, and then to draw them in the sand. This is one of the highest forms of self-love and self-care there is.
But it takes time. And it does take effort. And there will be discomfort. But as with everything, setting boundaries needs to be taken with baby steps. Figure out the people and circumstances in which you usually do away with your personal boundaries, the areas in which you wish to establish boundaries most. Figure out the ways in which to heal in those areas, the younger self that needs to be forgiven for doing away with the boundaries to begin with. And then set your first boundary. Find your courage, pull up your big kid pants, and set it. Even if all it means is telling your mom that you don’t want to take the clothes she keeps pawning off on you, or telling your boss that you can’t take meetings at 5pm on a Friday. Or, telling the nice barista that always mixes up your order that you want soy instead of regular milk. Set a boundary, see how it feels, and then with increasing increments of confidence, keep going. You’re worth it. Your inner self is worth it. Your inner self wants you to say what needs to be said: to say the unsaid.
That’s all for today. Go out, my friends, and set those ripples flowing.