Category: Self-improvement

Honor Your Boundaries

Boundaries between male and female“Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them, too.”
~ Gina Greenlee

Dysfunctional families use rigid or chaotic boundaries.  Rigid limitations punish, intimidate, and control, imposing strict rules and regulations on family members and often crushing their souls. Members of those families usually end up emotionally cut off from their hearts, unyielding, and angry at life.

Chaotic families, on the other hand, exercise no boundaries, invading one another’s emotional, physical, and mental spaces.  There is no room for individuality.

Both rigid and chaotic lines of power violate individuals’ wants, needs, and rights by forcibly opposing or utterly ignoring them.  Family members rarely feel safe or cared for, so they don’t develop a solid sense of their own identity.

Healthy boundaries are adaptable and flexible physical, emotional, and psychological constructs.  Limits create and maintain one another’s identity to feel safe in the world. While they may be flexible, boundaries help us set perimeters so we can be in functional relationships that enrich, support, and inspire us. When we respect ourselves and set good mental and physical limits with others, we give ourselves a protected space that lets our unique abilities and characteristics bloom into our full potential. This form of self-care, in turn, invites us to love an equally unique other in safe and functional ways.

Journal Exercise
Setting limitations in your relationships shows self care and respect.  Where do you need to improve on creating balance safety in your life?  Is it your boss, family member or friend? How can you constructively say to set those boundaries? What is the best way to say it? When is the best time to say it?

Are you tolerating something in your relationship that you resent because you don’t want to upset your partner? If so, tell your truth and what would help to make you feel safe.  Speaking with an open heart helps you and your partner feel safe.

Be willing to listen to your partner’s need for boundaries and to be flexible when necessary. Good boundaries make good friends, lovers, family members, and demonstrate love for your self.

April Wright Therapy Finding Forgiveness

How to Find Forgiveness

Silhouette of woman with hands raised into the sunset

“The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time.”  ~ Caroline Myss

Like almost everything else, forgiveness begins at home. Self-forgiveness is a form of self-compassion, and without it, we flog ourselves for every little wrongdoing. In addition, we come to treat others the way we treat ourselves. Listen to your judgments of others, and remind yourself that you’re actually projecting your judgments of yourself onto them, probably unconsciously operating the way you were programmed in your family of origin. Everyone makes mistakes all day long. Own yours! Apologize when you can, then start over with a greater understanding of what you did wrong. When you begin to forgive yourself for your imperfections, you begin to change positively from the inside out. And when that happens, forgiveness naturally flows outward to others.

But forgiveness for ourselves–or from another–is not a natural process. It’s not something either “should” do; it happens when we are ready. Like in any dynamic development, glimmers of forgiveness may emerge unexpectedly, then, just as suddenly, recede. Stay open but keep moving forward. If you’ve hurt another, move forward with forgiveness.  If it’s not received well, don’t compound it with impatience. Let the other come towards you when she or he is ready. Meanwhile, give yourself permission to forgive your past mistakes. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t happen all at once–it comes in stages and may never feel complete.

Forgive only when your heart tells you it’s the right time. Forgiving prematurely can hurt you further because forgiving too soon denies the truth. You are on your own timetable. Take your time and stay present. Just remember that waiting too long, holding onto anger, can be toxic to your body, mind, and spirituality.  Holding tightly creates resentment that keeps you sick and stuck. Suffering doesn’t make you a better person. In fact, it demonstrates self destructive behavior.  Treat yourself with kindness and it will prelude to others. Obsessing over the past won’t heal your heartbreak, but forgiveness of yourself and others can restore you both.

Taken from Mirror of Intimacy:  Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence

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