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  • Writer's pictureMoana

What They Don’t Tell You About Setting Boundaries

Boundaries are defined as a line that marks the limits of an area or a limit of a subject or sphere of activity. If you are actively on a mental health journey or even if you aren’t — you can still feel when it’s time to close yourself off to those or something around you.



Let me be the first to say, it sucks. Yes, I’m a positive person who has decided to walk the line of coaching, but when we fail to acknowledge the sucky parts of doing what’s best for ourselves — we can fall into a pattern of toxic positivity. Some of y’all reading this might not believe in duality, but I do and I teach this to those I mentor as well. For every positive thing we do for the sake of our own personal evolution, there is a sacrifice.

Boundaries have always been one of those things that people tell you to set in place like it’s so easy. Most of us were never nurtured in our early childhood and well into our adolescence about the importance of “protecting your peace” and standing firm on your internal moral compass. We had to get knocked down over and over again before we finally said that’s enough and defended that boundary. Some today still struggle with boundaries through authority by letting our elders push us past that imaginary line.

Once you break free and realize enacting boundaries is a necessary strategy for routine mental health maintenance — you’ll soon see the purpose. You’ll see why it’s mandatory for peace, but not before you experience the sacrifice. As a mental health advocate, I’m here to tell you about the urges and feelings unmentioned as you map out what’s for you and what isn’t. This way you aren’t blind-sided when navigating new territory.

Here are three things nobody tells you about boundaries.

 

1. It gets lonely.


Completely removing people from your life, reducing communication, spending less time together— whatever boundary you set along these lines can be lonely. You once had joy in that person and as time moved on you realized they had to go from your life. Maybe you realize the amount of communication or how your communicating is no longer healthy and now there’s a void during the time you’d usually communicate. At one point you could have spent a lot of time together talking all day or hanging out in person, but putting a boundary shield up has now given you more time to ruminate. You will have to deal with this lonely feeling until you find a healthy replacement for that space. Get out into the world and find a hobby or extracurricular that brings you joy. I promise you it will help nurture you through this.


2. You will mourn the detachment.


To mourn is to feel regret or sadness about the loss or disappearance of something. Once you detach you will have to go through the mourning process. Grieving the loss created by boundary-setting feels so…strange. I'm not sure if there is a more eloquent way to say this, but strange somehow fits. These strange feelings can be about your own inadequacies that surface and you may even find that you gaslight your own self a lot during this period. As always be kind to yourself as you mourn because you are wearing a giant sticker that now says "handle with care". This is a time for lots of self-love and lots of self-assurance. You are DOING the best that you can for yourself by staying true to your moral compasses. Not just trying, but DOING. That needs to be celebrated.


3. There are many unfamiliar feelings.


Everything feels weird. You might think that it’s crazy that you’re feeling this way because you were sure it wouldn’t have this effect on you, but it did. One day you might find yourself doing an everyday task and then get triggered. Like why is the dang laundry reminding me of not allowing so much access to myself? It can get really unfamiliar really, really fast. When things get unrecognizable we often try to associate them with something we are familiar with when in reality, we have to sit with the unfamiliar for a while until we learn how to navigate our triggers. Now would be the time to start practicing some mindful minutes and take each day as they come. As soon as you rise, set an intention for the day until you move past this phase. The intention can be along the lines of "I can be triggered as I heal towards moving on, but the triggers do not own me. I am patient in my growth."

 

Once you become one with the boundary-setting process, you'll be putting those boundaries down like it's hot! I know this because I personally can attest to the peace on the other side.


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