What are Boundaries Anyway?
The best understanding of boundaries that I’ve seen was explained by Prentis Hemphill who explained that they believe “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” A great explanation of boundaries about their famous and comprehensive explanation of boundaries from a place of love can be seen in this video.
Boundaries Before Therapy
It’s funny because I was thinking about when I first began therapy and various programs and starting to assert boundaries. I began talking about how I felt for one of the first times in my life and noticed how much it differed from the way I was being in the world. I started to change relationships and the way I showed up. I would even share with people when I needed something. It was profound, scary and different than what I’d seen. It was a clear difference from how I showed up in the world before I began therapy and healing programs.
But I think my boundary journey began long before I had a clearer channel with my feelings and expressing my needs. I could actually recall a time in high school when I actually began my boundary journey.
One of my first attempts at a boundary was when people my old bullies wanted to hang out and pretend they never hurt me in the past. Well a little background on this is that I’ve gone up and down with my size throughout my life and honestly continue with this ever growing relationship with my body (diet mentality, social pressures, cultural messages and so on), and when I went from bullying names regarding my size to what the bullies thought was an acceptable size the bullies forgot that I was the same girl they bullied for years. Verbal and physical hits from my bullies never led me to think that one day they’d think I was “cool” and would talk to me or even invite me to spend time with them. I was shocked and told them I’m the same one they hurt for years.
You can learn more about the story here where Dr. Dowtin and I explore the beginning stories of boundaries. The podcast episode even has a great boundary exercise that Dr. Dowtin tailored just for you.
I want to thank and honor your younger selves within for setting boundaries long before you may have even realized it. I’m proud of you and thank you for coming together to see our initial stages of our boundary stories.