When we don’t know how, or for lack of a better answer, we forget how to let go, we can always call on our boundaries to help us make good choices. When we set boundaries, anything that bleeds over, cuts across or blatantly violates them makes the choice of letting go clear, easy and committed.
Boundaries fall into four categories physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Physical boundaries are the easiest to identify. They are the tangible doors, gates and walls placed between two worlds. They block everything outside from reaching us…important when we need quarantined care, but unfortunately they also keep what’s inside in. Physical boundaries keep our children safe on the playground and our bodies healthy when those around us fall ill. They can also give an illusion of false security. We must be clear that we don’t use distance, time or space as an excuse to not get close or make commitments simply because we can point to a tangible reason. If, however, that lack of physical proximity causes pain, as often occurs in cases of domestic violence, it’s time to let go.
Mental boundaries are the opinions set in our minds based on experience. When we feel pain, transmitters in our brains record that moment so we remember never to make the same mistake again. Mental boundaries are also created by our educational background, attention to detail, ability to focus and motivate. It’s in a teacher’s nature to nurture, share and inspire all those around them so it goes without saying they have very transparent mental boundaries. Although mental boundaries can blur as our perceptions shift, we can be comforted that by letting go today, will open other opportunities tomorrow.
Emotional boundaries are felt but not seen, present, but not visible. This is where our values meet the practical world and come head to head when we least expect it. Our actions in these moments speak to our character. Our behaviors speak to our integrity. Our choices speak to our self worth. In my opinion, it’s our life’s work to identify and live by these boundaries. Our purposeful career choices and most treasured relationships emerge from clarity of our emotional compass. Accept no less than what you would give another. Settle for nothing less than your own personal values because anything that violates our values is fair game to let go.
Spiritual boundaries are defined by our soul, our intuition and our faith. The most impractical of all boundaries to form into space, articulate into words or express through emotions, spiritual boundaries are the ones we carry with us on every journey. It’s the voice heard in quiet moments of stillness. It’s the inexplicable sensation felt when something isn’t quite right. It’s the lightness of heart and soul that races through our veins after a very intense confrontation. When we learn to listen intently to these moments, letting go of anything unworthy of your personal value brings a realignment to the path you’re meant for.
Next time you find yourself facing a challenge of letting go of that mindless job, abusive relationship, or clutter in your home…take a look at the boundaries you’ve created for yourself. Are they solid, firm, well grounded, meaningful? When we set boundaries we let go of the need to please others, perfect the unattainable and perform the unappreciated. And in the words of Brene Brown “Compassionate people are boundaried people.”