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These things called boundaries are much talked about but little understood.  A friend or a therapist says "You need stronger boundaries" as if they were something you could order by the metre, but learning to use boundaries takes more than words.

A boundary is a shield

A boundary is like an invisible line or shield around you that contains your inner life, your vulnerability and your inner reality. Keeping these parts inside your boundaries means they remain protected from outside influences.

Your boundaries are the energies, words, images, actions, or whatever you do that protects you, your vulnerability and your Inner child from other people’s negative energies including their:

* Negative judgement or anger - if they attack you or try to blame, shame, criticise or judge you

* Control or domination - if they are trying to make you do what they want or need done

* Abuse - if they hurt you intentionally or just fail to treat you with the minimum respect and dignity you deserve

* Triggering - anything they might say or do that would trigger your old negative core belief

* Their Pain - their hurting, their fear, their sadness, their loss, their guilt, their shame ,which they want to load onto your shoulders.

Boundaries require more than words

For some people boundaries require physical action, for others the best ones are visualised images and for many the most effective boundaries are visualised energy fields or light, The right words can create boundaries too.

Walls and Limits are not boundaries

Walls differ from boundaries in one important way. You cannot communicate when walls are in place. With a good boundary you can see or hear and communicate with another person and feel safe, even if they are angry or trying to manipulate you.

Your boundaries protect others from you too

Your boundaries also protect other people by making you more aware of who you really are and how others really see you and what you are really doing.

That greatly reduces the chances that you will offend other people or violate their boundaries by your actions.

Your boundaries can only work if you are aware of:

1. What you are really protecting inside you, your most vulnerable parts (shamed, worthless, stupid, guilty); your most fearful inner children, your negative core belief; your powerlessness, your ‘inner demons’; your fantasies. so your skill in using your aware grown up boundaries is one of the most important of your key life abilities.

These are the same actions that trigger your negative core beliefs Developing strong healthy boundaries is naturally one of the best ways to stop yourself being triggered.

2. What you are really facing outside of you. Your abusers, your family, your parents, your controllers, your creditors, dishonest people.

3. How well you are aware of your real power selves and how they help set real boundaries compared with your disempowering selves.

When your boundaries don’t work

Do you notice any of the following?

People use or borrow things that belong to you, without asking or dump their things in private areas such as your room

• When things go wrong around you, you automatically feel responsible for helping fix the problem

• You are easily controlled and manipulated by others

• You need to put up walls of distance or intensity to protect yourself from other people

• You often feel or need to say, ‘I have to’, to explain why you put up these walls or create so much distance

• To protect yourself from being controlled by some people you have to spend too much time and energy watching out and keeping an eye on them

• You have trouble saying “No” to people

• If someone insists that you have to do what they want, "to show you love them" then you do it

• People criticise your looks, your body, your behaviour even though you did not ask for their advice

• You become destabilised or lose your self esteem when others tell you that you made a mistake

• Finally - Do you tend to notice all these things some time later rather than at the time they are happening?

If this is familiar for you, it could be a sign your inner selves are not able to protect you as well as they want to. Each inner self  takes the place of a functional boundary but one reason they are not as successful is that selves focus your energy outwards, concentrating on the other person, trying to get them to change.

SAGE boundaries work the opposite way, from the inside, shielding you and using your own power, so you feel much more secure.

What it’s like when your boundaries  are working

Real authentic people have strong but flexible boundaries that work for them.

First and most obvious is the reduction in the kind of events in the list above. Almost as obvious is the reduced activity by the  selves. You have a greater sense of calmness and self confidence.

You are putting far less energy into watching out to see what others are doing or might be going to do to you. This helps you feel stronger and more focused.


Growing your self aware and more grown up boundary system

Real authentic people have strong but flexible boundaries that work for them.

An aware grown up boundary system is also one of the most powerful aids to gaining true  intimacy.  Nothing helps as much in building and maintaining deeper connections with other people