What are you settling for?

Creating boundaries


That word confused and bemused me for a long time. I knew that I needed them. I knew that they could be too strong or too weak, but how to tell?

I had a list of questions:

What are boundaries and how do I know if mine are set right?
How do we know when to say no?
Where do our rights end and another’s begin?
Do we even need boundaries when we are moving towards oneness?
What do we actually need boundaries for if we are all interconnected anyway?
Can boundaries be spiritual? Can they be loving? And can they be for the greater good?

All these rattled around in my head for years. Even through all my counselling training and understanding of psychology boundaries, healthy ones still eluded me. I went in search of these healthy boundaries, trolled the books and internet for behaviors I should accept and behaviours I shouldn’t. It became a quest.

Tell me how to live my life!!

Funny enough, I never found anything truly useful.

I looked at articles called “Am I plagued by energy vampires?” and “How to recognise a bad friendship”. None of them helped. I realised I didn’t want a prescribed list of boundaries, I wanted to know how to discover my own.

Sound familiar?

What I wanted to know was how to form boundaries with life, how and when to say Yes or No.  What I didn’t realise then was that ultimately I was looking for my boundaries with myself.

In the spiritual field we are often told that ego is bad. Ego is our enemy.
It isn’t. Let me be clear.

Your ego is your friend.

Here’s why

Your ego (the healthy one) is your identity, your personality. It’s how you function in this world.  It’s the place you inhabit whilst you are in this physical dimension and how you show up to the world on a daily basis. It’s what makes the difference between me and you.  It isn’t in charge of the whole show, that’s the job of your soul, your spirit. Rather your ego is the lens through which you survey this world.

Ego is the keeper of your preferences,

Your likes and dislikes, your desires, hopes and dreams. Your ego is that part of you which needs boundaries. With ego you have self respect, individuality and you can honor your own needs and desires.

Your ego allows you to be uniquely you in this world.

A healthy ego is a beautiful thing, it helps you craft the life of your (not anyone else’s) dreams and to reach out and help others without loosing yourself. It makes you a better friend.

So why has ego got all this bad press?

Because sometimes ego goes bad!!    < Queue creepy music. >

Actually, sometimes we get scared. When our ego becomes fear based, our defenses kick in, we go into fight, flight or freeze mode and our subconscious helpfully throws up all our automatic programs. Ego is trying its best to keep us safe but the problem is that, when we live as though the world and others are a threat, we slip into old patterns of behavior. Patterns that probably once served us when we were little, but now simply create havoc in our lives and take us off the path of our dreams.

When we are operating from our fear based ego, we see ourselves as less than or better than others. We no longer see the beautiful spirit in others and we certainly don’t see it in ourselves (or it becomes based on whether we are more attractive, have more money, more success etc). Life becomes a battle ground, one where we need to prove our worth. Then our boundaries become too rigid. We close off, shut down and retreat from real, unconditional, glorious, wide open love.

When we trust that we are safe and loved, that the universe is loving and friendly, the viewing lens of our ego shifts from fear based to loved based and we remember the Truth.  We truly see the beauty in others even when they can’t see it in themselves. We see our own beauty and, as we stumble and fall, we are kind to ourselves. When we make a mistake we gently dust ourselves down and start again, rather than taking a bat to our heads in punishment. We take care of ourselves.

We set healthy boundaries.

Okay so lets pick that one apart. What is a healthy boundary?

In our quest to be positive and loved based we do not need to become blind.

We can love another, see the beauty and spirit within them and still say No. We can still decide that something is no longer serving us, no longer to be in our lives. We can say No to a friendship, situation or behavior simply because it does not feel good to us. That is reason enough.

Loyalty to yourself has to come first if you are to set healthy boundaries.

“You cannot be true to another whilst betraying yourself” Gill Edwards.

Stop saying yes when you want to say no.

In short, a healthy boundary is your ability to say Yes and to say No. Boundaries are the voice you have to implement your values, what you find acceptable and not.

Your boundaries tell people how you expect to be treated, but crucially (and this is where the fun bit comes in) your boundaries tell LIFE what you expect.

What you are willing to settle for?

Where is your level of expectation with life?

Let’s remember that the people in your life are a reflection of your perception of yourself, your worth, your expectations. People are the physical result of a stream of consciousness that you are inviting or allowing into your life. When you say no to a behavior in others, you stop dancing with that particular stream of energy. When you truly show life that you are no longer willing to play that game, it stops sending the actors.

Life is always working for you, your job is to Know that.

Knowing that allows us to infuse our ‘No’s with grace. Our ‘no’s are not battle cries.

We get lost is what is acceptable and not. Especially in the spiritual field. Many, many of us in the field of spiritual growth, in our beautiful, earnest desire to be loving, confuse love with being nice or worse, a door mat. Urgh! There is nothing wrong with being nice per se, but when we see niceness as a replacement for authentic, wild, untamed love, we are truly losing something.

Love is not a sugar coated saying that you find in a Hallmark Card. Nor does love expect you to accept every kind of behavior from others.

Love is the ability to stand firm in your space of existence and know that who you are is enough, always enough. Allow your self esteem to be high enough to know that what you believe and desire in life is more than alright, it’s crucial to our world in some way.

You have permission to be you.

There is one thing you need to know when you are setting healthy boundaries. This is the first step. With this step you will trust yourself, trust your emotions, trust your judgement and allow yourself to make mistakes .

This is what you need to know:

Source supports your happiness

There are no lessons. No golden hoops to jump through to get to the promised land. The promised land is right here, right now. It never went anywhere.

But first of all you need to accept that you are enough right now, that what you desire is OK and that this entity, God, Goddess, All that Is wants that for you too.

You see the more you know that you are loved, that you are enough, the more that your ego operates from love and helps you to easily set boundaries. Your self respect informs your expectations of life.

It becomes easier to notice that twinge in your solar plexus when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, easier to recognise that this is your body’s way of telling you no. Easier to believe that you don’t have to just push through the discomfort and do it anyway.

If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.

It becomes easier to then say ‘no, that’s not for me’.

Approval seeking is seen for its truth, a game that no one can win.

You trust yourself enough to walk away from situations that are no longer right for you, rather than needing to battle or to get someone to change. You stop clinging to circumstances that feel bad to you.

You trust that life will show up for you

And finally, the blessed peace that occurs when anger becomes your friend.

When you listen to anger whispering, or shouting, that something needs to change and respond to it, anger becomes your peacekeeper. Anger informs your boundaries. It let’s you know when someone has crossed the line.

If you don’t want to do something, that’s reason enough.

You are the sovereign keeper of your energy field. You get to say what comes into that and what doesn’t without needing to justify it to anyone else.

No decision is a forever decision. You may just need to say no for now. We are taught from an early age to push through our discomfort; we rarely need to do this. With tasks like tax returns we can go for a change of mindset – feel the freedom and joy of the task completed. But the majority of the time, we don’t need to push through anything. We are not lazy, stupid or worthless, we simply want to say no!

Most of the time, pushing through the discomfort is the last thing we need to do

Saying ‘no’ creates the space for the ‘yes’s in our life. No can be the sculptor’s knife we use in the carving out of our ideal world.

If your life is not reflecting what you truly want, try saying No more often. Then start saying Yes. Start small perhaps, flex your preference muscle until it becomes powerful enough to shape your desired destiny. Day by day, step by step, allow yourself to make choices that take you in the direction of your grandest preferences. Get to know yourself. Try out saying No and be with that. You may feel anxious at first. You will make mistakes.

Notice what feels good to say ‘no’ to. You maybe surprised at how weighted you were, how much you had normalised uncomfortable feelings.

  What you decide today becomes your tomorrow. What you choose over and over becomes your life.

But first, before you make any new choices…

Please remember that you are already loved, already enough. That life desires your joy, your happiness. Then love yourself enough first. Fill your own cup up before you begin to reach out to others.

Know that you can simply decide yes or no. You do not have to justify this to anyone.
“I know who I am”. Own it. Claim it. Stand in it. Love it.

What do your boundaries say about you? What are you settling for? Boundaries can be the difference between having a life that FEELS good or having a life in which you are trying to BE good.

Do you declare that you will never put up with such and such a behavior, then slowly allow one thing to slip and another and another. All in the name of love and keeping the peace? Don’t want to make a fuss? Just being a drama queen? Being silly? It’s no big deal?

Here’s the thing; those small silences, when inside you are screaming ‘No! not again’, those small silences act as erosion of your self respect. You begin to see yourself as one of those people who say one thing and do another. Your self esteem crumbles around you with every tiny act of self betrayal,

Until, one morning you look in the mirror and wonder who you have become.

That’s not keeping the peace, that’s just keeping quiet.

Peaceful borders don’t have to be guarded at every outpost, that they exist is enough. Your knowing of their existence acts as a giant signpost for others. It’s only when someone, or life, seemingly ignores that signpost that you need to deploy the guard, and even then they can be dressed in a loincloth with a toothless grin rather than a uniform and a gun.

There can be a wondering in that mutual collision.

A “what’s going on here?”. The sign is clearly posted so what’s with the crossing of the line? Your outpost person can cast a friendly smile whilst holding an internal mantra of We Shall Not Be Moved. There is no need for wars here. We are not in a battle zone, and when you realise that ultimately the person ignoring the sign is you, it becomes even easier to deal with peacefully.

We can spend the rest of our lives searching for the “rules of right living” or we can stop, turn around, look inside and realise that the rules for our right way of living were with us all along.

Our best question shifts from “What should I do?” to “What do I want to do, what do I need to do here, what would love do right now?”

What or Who would you like to say No to?

Where in your life would you clear some space?

What small, baby step action could you take right now?

Your answers are enough. Begin.

Cara Wilde

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12 thoughts on “What are you settling for?

  1. This resonates so much with me just now. I’ve been pondering what it means to honour myself and you express that so beautifully here. I did lots of loud ‘hmm yes’ and nodding along with this. Powerful words, expressed magnificently. I feel like the energy of this post has raised my vibration just by reading it. Thank you, brilliant Cara <3

    • Hi Jackie, Thank you hun. It really can take some figuring out 🙂 I guess, as we change, so will our boundaries and what we perceive as our norm. I’m so happy to have been involved in the raising of your vibration 😉 Hugs Cara xx

    • Thank you very much Tom, I wrote it because at the time I sorely needed it too;-) I’m still growing with the ideas also! Thank you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts, love to you Tom

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