Setting Boundaries with your Energy
When I was a child, I was a sensitive and somewhat odd child. I loved being alone, I cried easily and I often felt other people and places' energies. On the one hand, I was well-liked because I was a loyal and good friend but on the other hand, I always felt emotionally exhausted as if there were holes like Swiss cheese in my soul. I would eventually learn that I had trouble separating my boundaries with others.
If I had a friend who was hurt or teased, I could feel their pain and soon my mood and day darkened because I was worried about them. It wasn't just a moment of concern; instead, I immediately thought of ways of comforting them, helping them, fixing their pain. Likewise, if there was a lot of arguing at my home, I took it all in. I had no shields and I was like a blank canvas where everyone's feelings and pain were integrated and painted upon my soul.
For those who are sensitive to other people's energy or are natural born caretakers or perhaps feel the need to "save" others, be it your parents or your partner, then perhaps taking these steps may help you in setting boundaries both emotionally and energetically. Also, if you are feeling drained and there really isn't a physical reason behind the fatigue, then hopefully this may help.
Here is how I began to reclaim my own energy and set emotional boundaries to protect myself....But first...
-Identify: Identify you may have issues with boundaries and distinguishing between your energy and others. Ask yourself if you have these qualities such as: are you always kind, always a great listener, always the "rock" in the relationship?
These traits may sound wonderful and indeed are.. however, it is when you yourself are
experiencing exhaustion and feel emotionally void that your needs are not being met. You may appear to help others, but inside you feel like an emotional mess.
-Do you find yourself in this kind of situations?
Do you end conversations with friends, colleagues or family members feeling drained, while the other party feels rejuvenated.
For instance, you meet with a friend for a coffee. The quick coffee turns into a three-hour therapy session where the other person tells you about their problems with their kids, their financial worries, their husband/wife mistreating them. You leave the "fun" meeting with them feeling great, telling you how wonderful a friend you are and then them saying. "Oh my gosh, we only spoke about myself. How are you? (you answer) and then right away they turn around with "that reminds me of the time"....You stand there for another twenty minutes and after this session is all done, they say "When can we meet again?
As you go to the car, you are absolutely exhausted. You come home, feel distraught and want to pack up and move into a monastery while you get a text saying..."Had the best time. Let's meet next Tuesday!"
were often the peacemaker, the sweet and kind one who let Joe Somebody cut in front of you or went out of your way to help others who rarely appreciated your kindness. You often cried when people got hurt and wanted to fix everything. You sometimes were controlling because of your need to make things right.
Now....Once you identify that you are taking on energy and stuff that is not yours....
Here are some steps to reclaim that energy and place healthy boundaries.
-Take a deep breath, have some time even for ten minutes a day to meditate or contemplate about your life and what's going on.
When you find yourself getting emotional over something that involves another person, ask yourself is this your stuff or someone else's? Know that it is ok for them to have problems. It is part of THEIR emotional spiritual journey and if you fix i,t you are curtailing them from their own spiritual education.
-Let go and allow them the liberty to feel their own pain. If you are getting too emotional, go to the bathroom if you are in a public place in order to take deep breaths, gain clarity and separation or if at home, go to another room.
-Keep in Mind: This is not to say that you need to be a callous person who never feels empathy...it is more to learn how to be a good friend who is able to listen to other's struggles and not lose yourself within their pain.
-Take a course (Hay House is great) on energy, setting boundaries energetically and on assertiveness.
-Journal about what you are going through. ( I am writing a book about the wonders of journaling)
-Finally, ask yourself if your relationships feed you with happiness and joy. I always tell myself within a relationship esp friendships, you have a choice to be with that person. If you need help if this "friend" is truly a good friend ask yourself these questions:
-Is this relationship-one of give and take (The conversations are like a tennis game. Back and forth not one way where you become more of a therapist and less of a friend.
Do you like this person as he/she is and do not feel the need to fix or help them.
Is it always about that person and never about you?
-Are you constantly their go-to-gal/boy who they call when they are in an emergency situation which is frequent. Again, I'm not saying the relationships must always be all about joy and you need to run if they need you or have problem arises but it is more about enjoying the other person's presence with out the need to help them.
-Go into your new relationships and base them on happiness and learning...If you have healthy boundaries and manage and protect our own energy, people- I believe-will intuitively sense that you are not their therapist and not their bank for them to take loans out.
-Yes I am a good friend or I like to think so. Sometimes friends need help and I help them but I do not drown with them. If on the other hand, it is a longlong relationship such as one with your parents, siblings, of course, unless it is abusive, there will be times that they challenge you with their stuff...Just know it is their stuff and be sure to take care of yourself always.
As times goes on, and you learn to manage your energy effectively and have healthy boundaries, and are grounded, you may also feel so much lighter and happier. And isn't that what life should truly be about?
Drop me a line if you can relate and perhaps found some techniques that could help others.
Until the next time..
Love and blessings,
Gaya has been writing since she was nine. She has a MFA in writing and journalism and works as a writer and PR manager/brand developer for several talented individuals.
As a child, Gaya was highly sensitive and had many supernatural experiences.
Now, after years of studying spirituality, self-help, and understanding that her intuitive skills are a gift, she is accepting the fact that the sensitivity and intuition innate within her
can help herself and others. She can tune into people quickly and often can feel their hearts and souls and can relate and offer insights to others.
She has led a colorful life. Living in Italy for several years, and then with her sister who was a concert pianist and composer but had a severe mental illness, Gaya wants to share her insights on mental illness, childhood trauma, and finding joy with others with both this blog and a book she is working on.
She herself was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and after it progressing to the point where she could barley walk last year, she has completely overhauled her diet and life and is excited to share that part of her journey with you.
Today, she is married with children and is determined to give her children a wonderful happy childhood, the best gift she feels she can give to their children.
Disclaimer: All of Gaya’s blog posts are based on her own personal experiences and are opinions. She is here to share her experiences so please do not take anything out of context. They are not advice, therapy and not based on any fact. She is not a therapist or medical expert nor does not claim to be one.