When I first sat down to write about boundaries, I realized that healthy boundaries require a great deal of self-esteem, self-knowledge, confidence, and even a bit of assertiveness, at least in my humble opinion. I also believe they require a bit of grace and flexibility too.
A little over 6 months ago I went through what was, at the time, a devastating gal-pal break-up. I was also going through a rough time for a few different personal reasons I won't get into here, but basically when I took a long-time girlfriend her birthday present last summer, she out-of-the-blue decided to slap some business boundaries on me that did not seem fair. For one thing, she had been a mentor to me before she was a friend, and secondly we do live in different cities. In addition, while we have similar businesses in some aspects, there are also major differences as well; some different services, different trainings, different ideal clients to name a few. In addition, I'd spent two years assisting her at no cost with her online classes, and had been happily referring some clients to her. Add to that, this was supposed to be a joyful celebration.
Now, the old me, who admittedly had very few boundaries, less confidence, self-esteem, and assertiveness would have been hurt, but would have gone along with the ex-friend's demands. The me I am today, however, realized that this was her issue, and certainly not a healthy boundary on her part, but rather an inconsiderate inconsistency born out of feeling threatened by my growth. Attempting to compassionately reason with her only made her angry which caused me to realize this was actually a pattern or a series of events with similar behavior on her part that I had been putting up with. This led me to immediately end this friendship even though it wasn't easy and I was going through a hard time in other realms of my life. It was as if something just clicked in my head, and I thought: "You never have to feel like this again. You never have to go through this again. You can choose something else! You can choose to make and be with friends who honor you and treat you the way you treat them." And I also thought: "This is very hard right now, but how hard will this be in 3 months? Or in 6 months? Or do I want to go through this again?"
Well, it's now been a little over 6 months, and it was indeed difficult at first, yet releasing myself from a friendship that was not honoring my values and beliefs was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Now, of course I did have help from some of my other hypnotic friends to help me get through and to release the friendship in love rather than resentment, but I also spent some of my newly freed up time meditating, reflecting, and working on my own creative business endeavors. I finished my Yoga Therapy training and certification, and even enrolled in a training to become a Neurodynamic™ Breathwork Facilitator. I spent more time around healthier old friends and fun new ones as well. I feel liberated and stronger than ever before; content with my values and beliefs and secure in the friendships I do have.
Now, not all boundary violations will result in the end of a friendship or relationship, nor should they. Many times they can be be worked out or a compromise can be reached. However, I do feel it is important to spend some time in contemplation or meditation reflecting upon one's own values, beliefs, boundaries, and what a violation of them would mean. Had I spent more time being true to myself, this friendship likely would have faded away the first or second time I felt disrespected a while back rather than ending in the abrupt and divisive way it did. I can sometimes be a slow learner, but better late than never, which is why our February 13 Group Hypnosis MeetUp will be all about boundaries, which are a method of self-care and self-love, so give yourself the Valentine's Day gift of knowing you are more than good enough just as you are and you matter!