I’m a giver of my time. Of my love. Of my trust. Of my dedication. I give so much that I forget that boundaries are okay. In fact, I have a hell of a time actually setting boundaries.
Most empaths don’t know how to set boundaries OR have a difficult time enforcing them. Boundaries are things we would like to honor for ourselves, but yet when it comes time to do so, we tend to hop right over them. We give all of ourselves to others, sometimes before we’ve even noticed that we did.
I hadn’t started setting boundaries with most people until I started learning that it was normal to say no. The only boundaries I had set and had been able to keep were those that clearly defined a line of acceptable treatment versus unacceptable treatment. I was able to set boundaries with family who continuously used or belittled me. I built those walls and for some, still haven’t taken them down. But when it came to developing friendships or relationships with my work, those have been much more difficult. But why?
For a couple of reasons. When it comes to friends, I think I have a difficult time honoring my boundaries because I so desperately want to feel love from people. I want to feel the love I didn’t feel growing up and so desperately crave. So, because I hope I can trust the newer people in my life, I jump right over my boundaries for them. These boundaries tend to be for my time, although I frequently give my love and trust to quickly and then have to reel it back in. I love my friends. I love what we do together. But my sanity and safety have to come first.
Most recently, with all of the COVID stuff going on, I battled myself on my boundaries for my own safety and the safety of others. I had some friends and family coming over for a Utah holiday and decided that I needed to be strict on checking where people had been prior to coming to our house because we would have a couple of high-risk individuals with us. It was awful. I felt like absolute shit and just writing this reminds me of the difficulty I had telling some dear friends that they were uninvited because of an activity they had done the weekend prior. Also, one of my dearest friends is getting married in a couple of days. Her wedding is out of state and I don’t know all of the people who will be attending. I also don’t know where they have all been. I declined her wedding invitation because I couldn’t be sure that the others in attendance were not carrying COVID. It kills me to not be there.
When it comes to boundaries with work, I have an exceptionally difficult time not stressing myself because I feel like everything has to happen yesterday and that I have to give absolutely everything I have to be successful. I drain myself almost daily. Why? Because I don’t set enough boundaries to be successful yet the controller of my time and effort. It doesn’t matter the job or the company. I am always 1,000 percent invested in my role and forget to stop at the boundaries I thought I set when I started. This is something I most definitely need to work on.
Boundaries are something we all need to have so we can live our most fulfilled lives for ourselves. The problem is that most empaths live for others on a daily basis. Boundaries are difficult for us to set and even more difficult for us to keep in line with. One day I will be much better at it and I will be able to share how I got there. But for today, I still take it one day at a time.