Spam Filter for your Brain Episode 22
Let's talk about boundaries. It's such a thorny little beast of an issue, isn't it? I feel like you're saying good "boundaries" gets everybody sort of all pumped up and big shoulders and all about their fists, like Wreck-It Ralph. And actually, very rarely do we sit down and actually define what we think boundaries mean.
Quite often I think the general sort of assumption is that boundaries mean that someone else has done something that I don't like and I feel a bit imposed upon. And one of the main problems with this definition of it is that everybody has their own definitions, their own rules, their own ideas as to what those things that you can and can't do are. So if you don't spend time trying to work out what your boundaries are and what your sort of definition of that is, it can get really murky in trying to work out how to keep yourself safe within your own boundaries.
Now, I'm not going to go into too much about defining what boundaries are, I'm actually taking our whole course on boundaries. But the thing that I just want to look at in this podcast, is the idea I think many, many of us have is that if someone does not cross your boundary threshold or if you try and assert a boundary and someone adheres to the rules that you have set down, that you're going to change the way that you feel. And someone else behaving in a particular way is going to allow you to feel a particular emotion.
Now, firstly, that is hugely disempowering because you are waiting on someone else's behaviour or lack of action to allow yourself an emotion you're giving someone else power and autonomy over your yourself, your feelings, and your sense of peace. But the other problem is with this idea is that changing your circumstances does not change how you feel about things. Now, that can be quite a mind-blowing concept. Quite often we think we just need to fix things in order to feel better. But that doesn't quite work. And the reason that we can tell that that doesn't work is because you can have any set of circumstances and a whole number of people will feel a whole number of different ways about it. It is not the circumstance that causes your feeling. It is your thoughts that you are having about those circumstances that cause your emotions.
So when we are looking at whether someone else does something or doesn't do something and we are putting a whole load of pressure or hope on that, being able to allow us to feel a particular way or feel a particular emotion. If we don't look at the thoughts that have been chugging along the sides that hop along for the ride, then we take those same thoughts into the new circumstance. And how many times have you found yourself in a situation the scenery has changed, the characters have changed, but yet we are still in the same plot line and it is the same old story? And the reason why we don't change the way that we feel about stuff is because we still continue to repeat similar thought patterns all along the journey.
So when it comes to boundaries, the only way that we can change how we feel about what we want in our life, what we don't want in our life, the kind of rules of acceptability of things that we are going to allow near us, close to us into our heart, into our homes, into our lives; All of those things come from your thoughts. It is not about the actions you either to take to uphold those boundaries or whether other people take actions to respect those boundaries or not.
The way that you feel about those things directly comes from the thoughts that you want to have. So what are the thoughts that you want to have about your boundaries? What are the thoughts that you want in your life in regards to this area? Getting those down on paper and identifying what your idea of boundaries are, what your idea of your values are, what your idea of safety is. These are the ways that you can cultivate the emotions and the feelings that you want in your life.
I'm going to wrap up today because I'm going to have a coughing fit, but I hope that this has been a useful episode.