As I have grown older I have learned more about boundaries and the importance of building and maintaining healthy ones with others. They help establish relationships that create space for honesty and growth while still respecting the other person.
One thing I realized while trying to establish boundaries with others was that we often forget to have boundaries with ourselves.
Boundaries with ourselves, or personal boundaries as I like to call them, are not only committing to doing something that you promised yourself but also honoring it as well.
Personal boundaries are important because we won’t be able to know what healthy boundaries look like with others if we aren’t able to have them with ourselves.
So, what is a personal boundary? They are things like being on time, having dedicated alone time, and setting time to spend with the Lord. These are primary individual boundaries that everyone has whether they realize it or not.
But, then I started to think of personal boundaries that aren’t so obvious, like not telling negative/hurtful things to myself and feeling my emotions instead of pushing them away. I realized that a lot of the personal boundaries I hoped to have in my life I wasn’t actually sticking too.
There have been countless times where I have set a time to go to bed and suddenly it’s 3 hours past when I wanted to be asleep. You might not think that this is a big deal, and honestly, I don’t think it is wrong all the time to occasionally stay up later than planned. Yet, often when we push past our own personal boundaries we create more hardship and difficulty for ourselves than needed.
When we don’t honor our established boundaries feelings of resentfulness, anger, and being more drained than before occur. We are unconsciously teaching ourselves that our time, energy, and effort is not valuable enough to respect.
The truth is that those things are valuable because you yourself are valuable. You will never get those things back.
But the biggest issue with not honoring your own boundaries is this: how can you expect others to keep the boundaries you have with them if you can’t keep the boundaries you place on yourself?
When I thought of this it hit me in the face.
We teach ourselves how to be treated by the way we treat ourselves. When you value and respect your boundaries you are valuing and respecting yourself.
If you don’t keep your own boundaries, how will you be able to stand up to others when they don’t keep them either.
Upholding personal limits allows yourself to have freedom, while in addition still taking care of yourself to the best of your ability.
Having personal boundaries and following them is hard. Respecting your time, attitude, and space can be easy things to sacrifice when life gets messy. But in those moments when it might seem easier or better to push back your personal commitments remind yourself that your boundaries are one of the most important things to respect.