Doing the work required to set boundaries

By Dave Henning / November 26, 2020

“Doing the work required to set boundaries and feel safe as adults is critical if we are to learn to try softer.  As we begin to change the implicit or explicit narratives we were given, honoring our limits and creating safety are vital.  After all, how can we even begin to try softer with the most wounded parts of ourselves if we don’t feel safe in the here and now?”- Aundi Kolber

Aundi Kolber continues Chapter 5 of Try Softer as she relates one important truth about boundaries.  That truth =  we need to feel safe in order to set good limits.  Otherwise, we’ll struggle.  So, our bodies assess the safety of a situation or another person through a process known as neuroception.  Our brain circuitry uses this subconscious process to constantly assess danger for us.

Therefore, we must experience safety in our bodies to reach a state of physical and emotional wellness.  Hence, Aundi notes, in this context ‘safety’ implies that we:

  • are in our WOT (window of tolerance)
  • don’t feel threatened and/or
  • believe we possess the resources and supports needed to maintain safety should threats arise (for example, we set limits)

Thus, we need to develop the bandwidth to connect and engage with people in a healthier way.  However, too often we find it easier to decide that we really don’t have a choice at all.  Or that the cost of changing prices itself out of range.  Certainly, it seems easier just to do one more thing.  Please one more person.  Consequently, Aundi explains (emphasis author’s):

“The hustle, the people-pleasing, the disconnection from our bodies can feel so normal, can’t they?  Not only that, but sensations of guilt or shame . . . can feel terrible, which also serves to keep us from setting limits.  What do we really need in times like these?

We need the resources of an integrated brain and the embodied knowledge that we are beloved no matter what. . . .  And only then can se truly care for our bodies and honor who God made us to be.  The best part about all this . . .  God wants us to discover this peace.”

Today’s question: What, if anything, keeps you from doing the work required to set limits?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Using attentional control to set limits”

About the author

Dave Henning

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