Healthy Personal Boundaries Require Self-Awareness – Insights from the Wilderness #7

Healthy Personal Boundaries Require Self-AwarenessDeveloping healthy personal boundaries is a skill that comes when we learn to pay attention to our feelings and emotions…..when we learn to become self-aware.

Unfortunately, the skill of self-awareness depends in large measure on our childhood upbringing.

For example, if we were raised in a family that encouraged or demanded obedience, we might find the skill of self-awareness to be both challenging and confusing. We would have learned early in life to focus on what “others” needed or wanted; not on our own needs or wants.

We would have lost touch with our own feelings and emotions because they would have felt dangerous or unimportant. In some families, stating our own needs or wants too clearly is often labeled as selfish or disobedient. We would have learned very early in life to be an obedient child simply doing what we were told.

Developing the skills to become self-aware would have been pretty low on our to-do list.

But it’s never too late to learn.

Self-awareness is nothing more than developing the ability to pay attention to “our” thoughts and emotions. We begin this process by giving ourselves permission to explore what “we” are feeling from moment to moment…..permission to pay attention to what our gut is telling us.

Establishing healthy personal “self” boundaries requires the birth of a healthy “self”….a “self” that knows what it likes and what it dislikes.

As you learn to pay attention to your own needs and feelings, creating and defining healthy boundaries for yourself becomes more and more natural. You will soon find yourself moving from an external obedience to “others”, to an internal loyalty toward your own growing “authentic self”.

As you define who you are as a person and establish healthy boundaries that define the sacred space you call “self”, you will find your self-esteem and self-confidence also beginning to grow. The world will become an easier and happier place in which to live.

Like any new skill, learning to establish healthy personal boundaries takes time and can be challenging. Don’t be afraid to hire a mental health counselor or therapist. They can often be very helpful in getting you started on the path toward self-awareness.

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