“They called me in for work real early again!” my friend, Arianna, said.
I had nothing to say that could help her. She knew that it would be good to have a good boundary and say, “No” at times. But she didn’t do it.
I just listened with empathy in my eyes.
I have three insights for you.
- Be aware of the importance of boundaries
I see many people with inadequate skills related to boundaries. I certainly need something like a refresher course. I know we want to help everyone. But we also need to help ourselves. We need to take good care of ourselves so we can help others. So many times, I’ve been on a plane and heard the flight attendant say, “Put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.”
What is an “oxygen mask” in your daily life? What do you need?
We all have responsibilities. But there are several people who will pile on us—if we let them.
What is a healthy boundary? How about getting people to show some respect for your reasonable needs for time off and rest?
2. Practice saying your boundaries
Do you know what are your boundaries? If not, think about it. You can even take a piece of paper and write down some appropriate boundaries.
I went through a self-defense course called Model Mugging. This is where you practice full force on an instructor. You shout out NO! and do self-defense moves, full force, on a padded attacker.
The same concept can be taken to boundaries as well. Once you have identified a boundary, you need to practice. Say it firmly out loud.
Perhaps, you say something like: “No. I cannot stay late here at work tonight. I have family details.”
Maybe, you might say, “No. You gave me no notice, and I have prior commitments.”
When it is appropriate, state your boundary with resolve.
Need more help? Ask the Goddess for support with your boundaries.
3. Ask Goddess for support with your boundaries
Here is a prayer to help.
My Gracious Lady,
Give me Your strength to set up and strengthen my boundaries.
Encircle me with Your protection and guidance to enhance my boundaries.
Teach me better boundaries so that I may remain strong, and I can help others and myself.
So Mote It Be.
May these insights support your path.
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