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Ironically, this is late because I had more important things to tend to. I want to talk about boundaries.

A boundary is a limit that you decide on, for yourself, that dictates what you will and won’t do. Typically, they’re solid in theory, but are loose and fall apart once actually tested- especially by someone we love. But let me say that,

Not setting boundaries, or not standing firm in them to avoid upsetting people does not make you a good person.

Boundaries allow us the space that we need for ourselves. They allow us to be at our strongest, and most focused where it’s needed in life. In this space we have more peace, our needs are met and we’re taken care of. We develop an assertiveness that will ensure that we don’t hold ourselves back from life and we’re allowed a control that empowers us to grow even stronger. It also builds self-esteem, sets a standard of respect for yourself and from others that you deserve, and helps you feel more understood, which, in turn, limits resentment and bitterness. Boundaries are the most powerful form of self-care. But know that the power of a boundary isn’t in setting it, it’s in holding it in its place despite the knocking, pushing, manipulation... Do not allow anyone to make you feel guilt for being strong enough to hold your own boundaries in place. Someone that cares about you will understand and won’t want to push you into a place that you aren’t comfortable. Anyone who doesn’t care about you shouldn’t be allowed to push them anyway. If they have no respect for them, then they shouldn’t be close enough to test them.

How to set and keep boundaries:

First you need to clearly identify what your boundaries are. Consider why they’re a boundary for you and take a moment to understand why you need it. Write them down if you need to! When the boundary is tested, calmly, but firmly hold your ground. Do not compromise or feel the need to explain. Trust that it was set because the space that it allows is important to you. Don’t confuse having boundaries with being guarded. It isn’t a brick wall, it’s just a fence. Maybe not even barbed wire. You aren’t shutting yourself out from anyone or any aspect of life. You’re simply deciding on how much time and energy you'll give for those people and aspects where they all belong in your life. Let’s discuss some examples of healthy boundaries that will help you grow and succeed.

•Taking time to focus yourself each day.

•Setting work hours and not working outside of those hours.

•Saying no when you don’t want something.

•Refusing to be spoken to a certain way.

•Not feeling responsible for someone else’s happiness.

•Acting according to your own morals and values despite those of the people around you.

•Not changing important plans that you’ve already made for yourself to cater to someone else.

•Managing your money the way that you want.

Some boundaries take a lot of self discipline, such as eating sweets only twice a week. Some may be perceived as selfish, such as not going out with your friends when you’re trying to develop a better sleep schedule for earlier mornings. However, if you stand by the boundaries that you’ve set, and allow only yourself to control your life, you will be living the life that you’ve always wished other people would allow you to live. You’ve been the one holding yourself back. Do not accept things that aren't okay with you so that you have the mental capacity to bring in all the good that you want.

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