February, the month of love! Some of us are all booed up while the rest of us are out celebrating ourselves and loving on our friends. It’s beautiful to see people smiling and loving on their neighbor (Cuz hunny, hot girl summer and F*** boy fall was trill in 2019--but that’s another story for a different day). But how do we continue with this love bug past February? I’ll tell you how: BY SETTING BOUNDARIES!
Ok let’s get into it. What does it mean to set boundaries?
Boundaries are clearly defined barriers that separate things. Think of traffic cones blocking off a street to the path for a parade. Personal boundaries, which include physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and some more stuff, are a set of rules for what you will or will not do or allow in your life. In other words: this is where you define “what we not gone do is…."
Now there’s a few misconceptions about setting boundaries. Setting boundaries does not:
Make you heartless or a bad person,
Take away your worthiness of love, or
Limit your ability to connect with others.
In fact, setting boundaries strengthens you and brings clarity to your life. Like traffic cones, boundaries shed light on the safe and danger zones within you and restricts access so others can remain safe and in the clear from a NipseySlap or worse. Ya know, so that folk can enjoy the lit parade that is YOU. When boundaries are consistently well enforced, it’s not unusual to experience deeper love, more meaningful relationships, more frequent happy moments, better sleep and chile even flourishing edges. Because let’s face it, the things that set you off are kept at bay.
So how do you set boundaries?
Identify your limits. Remember we became more A.W.A.R.E. over the summer? Yup, do that again.
Announce and stand by your limits. You have to teach people how to deal with you because, breaking news: NO ONE CAN READ YO MIND AND AIN’T NOBODY FINNA TRY! Now, when you express your boundaries, you don’t have to say it with an attitude or anything. Just say what you mean and mean what you say. And don’t back down. Ex: "Don’t raise your voice at me or you may suddenly experience eye pain." You know..!? Just keep practicing. :)
Understand and adjust to others and their boundaries if you want to maintain that relationship. It ain't always about you. Setting boundaries goes two ways as well. If you want to hold on to that relationship and be treated well, learn and respect their boundaries too.
I'm not gone hold ya, setting boundaries can be tough. Because it requires deep introspection, confidence and for you to be so in love with who you are that you will not allow anyone to take you where you don't want to go (sad, angry, anxious, depressed, irritated, burned out, unhealthy habits, etc). I’m not saying that once you set boundaries, that you won’t be angry, sad or anxious sometimes. These mfs may still piss you off, simply because they aren't used to your boundaries. And it may hurt to let someone go. It be like that! It’s life. I am saying, though, that with boundaries, you are more in control of your space and energy and peace comes easier… Think Rihanna ( you not gone “Where the album” me to death)…or Jhene (triggered!!), Aaliyah, Jazmine Sullivan, Kanye… you get what I’m saying.
Again, don’t ever let anyone make you think that setting boundaries is not a bad thing. Rather, remember boundaries as:
An act of self love and a courtesy to others.
A cleansing of your environment
Catalyst to success and general peace.
Quick lil Story time:
In 2020, I wanted to see more of my dreams manifested-- More money, a job I love, more meaningful relationships and more space to be vulnerable and authentic. All of this required consistency, which my life lacked. I was also operating in fear, laziness and needed to speak up more on what it is and what it aint. So what did I do?
I became aware then set routines to develop discipline to make consistency easier.
I picked accountability partners, shared my goals with them and let them hold me to it.
I expressed myself more with all of my feelings because vulnerability and emotional health are tied to my mental health. So I’m not finna keep playing chess when it doesn’t have to be that serious.
Last, I blocked that ass. Quite of few from my past and present, that I actually think are cool people, got blocked this year. I expressed my desires and boundaries to everyone. Those who wouldn't respect or accommodate them got let go. Periodt pooh. No love lost, not angry or bitter. In fact, Still love ya, but from over thurr! Because of that, I’m much more happy. Their inconsistencies with and towards me no longer make me anxious or angry. I’m cooling.
Anyway, I hope this has been helpful! I just want to see yall live in love more often and enjoy a more authentic, happy and full life. Take some time to love on yourself and flush out and enforce your boundaries. In 2020, start putting ya foot on necks one boundary at a time. I mean it’s your life. You might as well enjoy it!