Boundaries are an essential part of life. Regardless of a person’s background, gender, race, financial status, and level of awareness; poor boundaries are a common theme in those who struggle with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and disempowerment. Assisting a client in developing insight into their personal boundaries leads to much awareness as to how they relate to themselves and the world at large.
Developing awareness about the underlying belief systems that influence current boundaries and learning to establish healthy boundaries from increased discernment are both pivotal to transformation. It is important to recognize where one ends and another begins and to take the time to make choices that are in alignment with one’s truth.
Liberation from taking on external expectations and finding balance with the heart’s desire are the gateway to healthy boundaries which lead to conscious relating.
What Are Boundaries?
In the traditional sense, boundaries can be defined as lines that mark the limits of an area. In some ways that can be interpreted as dividers or even shields. In this context, boundaries are that which differentiates us from anything that is external and non-organic to our heart’s truth. They help us recognize our own needs versus that of others or versus the many shoulds that we identify with.
Healthy boundaries assist us in remaining true to our intuition and help us define who we truly are and not who we think we should be. Boundaries are the ones that remove the emphasis from what we can expect from others because we are clear in what we can expect from ourselves.
Boundaries can be a measure of a person’s self-worth and they can also be an empowering means to rectify any self-deprecation. They assist us in showing up in the world with overflow rather than from exhaustion. They are the tools with which we practice assertiveness, self-acceptance, and, most of all, increased trust.
Boundaries are multi-faceted and far from simple; they need to be approached by everyone with great scrutiny for them to be understood. Healthy boundaries are not cultivated overnight and like most things in life, they are also fluid and rely on the meeting of each moment with full presence. They heed significant self-awareness, authentic communication not just with the external world but with the self.
Boundaries in one regard call forth the respect of one’s physical space and body, they can also speak of the reverence that should be held for the privacy of another or to repeating the story of another.
Boundaries can also be called forth in business relations and when there is responsibility for another. For example, in the realm of service and energy work. Intuits, empaths, healers all have to learn to hold boundaries not just of what they take on but also of what they read into.
In Native American cultures, it was known to be rude to look into someone’s personal lodge when walking by – the same rings true in reading the energetic field of another without permission. Just because you can, doesn’t mean should.
Boundaries come up in all relationships – regardless of the labels. Boundaries supersede all entitlement and all expectations – instead, they invite authentic communication as well as incite profound awareness. As mentioned, they can be broken down and looked at through endless scenarios that range from interpersonal relationships, professional spheres as well as the multi-dimensional energetic realms that bear much influence on all and yet are seldom considered or recognized.
Where Lies the Distortion?
We all navigate our lives based on the social and cultural principles in which we were born into. Since before our toddler years, we are offered cues as to what is right and what is wrong. We are shown how to conduct ourselves for a sense of approval and we tend to learn how to dismiss or hide our feelings in light of supporting an expectation of us. This severs us from trusting our intuition and we replace that with logic and a controlled outcome. The implications of what is right or wrong supersede the individual need which often leads to harbored resentment, unfulfilling relationships, displays of power struggle, and other various forms of dissatisfaction.
These forms are often projected unto another and create a perpetual cycle of feeling victimized by life. Without boundaries, one often places all blame on circumstances rather than taking accountability for the role played. It is often that blame is placed on another. However, we forget that we cannot expect from another what we are not willing to stand for within ourselves.
Poor boundaries model a narcissistic and codependent dynamic. They can be toxic – lead to power struggles and manipulation. They can also lead to cognitive distortions. For example, people-pleasers tend to feel objectified by others and commanding personalities are often resentful that they “have” to hold all the responsibility. It is often the case that the intentions are good but the boundaries are poor. Obligation, expectation, demands, guilt, fear are all on the list when explaining how the “wrong” thing is done for the “right” reasons.
Where Do We Go From Here?
In this day of age, it is a disservice to all to walk through the world afraid of embracing who we truly are. It is imperative to feel worthy enough to walk in integrity. The clarity that we have within offers greater clarity to the world at large. We indeed are the micro to the macro. It is rather obvious that the world needs to be remedied and as I have always expressed this stems from the seed that is each individual.
Boundaries are a crucial starting point. They do not beget separation as one may assume; instead, they invite unconditional self-love which ultimately can translate into authentic intimacy as we learn to be accountable for ourselves.
Healthy boundaries hold space for the complexities of each person without projection or personal offense. They are a complete re-education of the self that challenges outdated belief systems that are confining and only serve to keep us in separation from ourselves and therefore each other.
It takes great valor to stand up for our truths in every moment. These truths are often found beyond what society has orchestrated as right, safe, and appropriate for us. The programs run deep and yet our liberation is not sustainable if we don’t have the courage to discern what is truly ours and what is not.
We are all our own compass and we are not meant to be defined by another. Our sovereignty is our birthright and there has been much imprinted on us that keeps us from experiencing this. In order for conscious relating to unfold; awareness of self, including our actions, our responses, and our programs is needed. Only then can we see ourselves, have the courage to share who we are with another, and ultimately live from our truth and not in dilution. A full-body yes is ever so worth it.
Ishtar is a psychotherapist (LCSW) who earned her masters’ degree from New York University in 2006. She is also a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor; licensed in 2013 at Goldenbridge, New York City. Prior to this training, in 2008 she experienced what she coins as divine remembrance and has spent the last 13 years in service to others as a wayshower in the ascension process. As a Christed pillar of light embodying the solar crystalline frequencies; she carries the codes of gnosis and sacred transformation. Ishtar is a Rose priestess of cosmic lineage and holds a multidimensional awareness that guides clients from all walks of life into divine union. Currently, she resides with her daughter Ixchel Inanna in the city New York and remains committed to activating divine remembrance through a myriad of sacred tools.
About Luminous Magik
Luminous Magik practice focuses on traditional integrative psychotherapy infused with an array of healing modalities intuitively tailored to your specific needs. The sessions can include Kundalini yoga and Meditation, Energetic Alignments, Light Language, Shadow Work, Ancestral Clearing, Womb Activations & Cosmic Coding. For more information, visit Ishtar’s website luminousmagik.com.