Updated: May 29, 2021
If we want our Enchanted Gardens to flourish, we must nurture them. We need to protect the spiritual seedlings that we plant by building fences around our gardens. Plants need a loving space and sufficient time to grow. You need space and time to grow, too. If you want your garden to flourish, you need to keep the goodness in; you can't let all of the fertilizer and water run away. You can't let your neighbours' weeds come in and choke out your plants. Know your boundaries, speak your truth, and hold them. You are holding time, and space for the Universal flow of Magic to come in.
As I moved forward in my inner journey, I noticed that issues with other people could be growth opportunities. They can help you to see where your values lie. Before I learned to detect and assert my boundaries, I spend more time than I am willing to admit being angry or resentful toward others. I was usually silent about my feelings, but I sometimes had inappropriate bursts of anger. Exploring my inner narratives around my anger and frustration showed me where my boundaries are.
At the time, I had to deal with a difficult person on a regular basis. In each of our encounters, she was extremely argumentative, dismissive, and rude. My instinctual response was that it must be something that I did to her to make her mad. I also felt like I wanted to confront (or maybe slap) her. I wanted our relationship to work for several reasons, so instead of reacting, I went home and journaled about it.
I sat down and let myself feel the hurt that she brought up in me. I realized that my emotions were created by the inner narrative that I had about the situation. The internal narrative that her behaviour brought up in me was, "You are less than, you deserve to be treated this way, you must have done something." And, I thought, "She is such a bully! Who does she think she is to treat me this way?"
Then I wrote, "What is the lesson here?"
Here is the answer that I wrote down: "If I don't learn to place boundaries, the same kind of people will keep making me feel the same way, repeatedly. It is a waste of my life to feel this way. I will never have peace if I don't learn this lesson. Having true peace amid the chaos matters. It doesn't mean act happy or ignore what's going on. It means face it head-on, with love and boundaries, all while being true to myself. Oh my god, I have so much to learn from difficult people. Thank the Universe for these lessons."
I wrote a new narrative:
We don't have to be friends, but I will not let her make me feel this way. Instead of matching aggression with aggression, I will respond with love and boundaries. I will remain calm, open, and focused on love for myself and her. I thought, I'll try for one week. If the situation doesn't change, I will end our business relationship.
The next time I saw her, I sent her love and light, but I looked her in the eyes, and I calmy spoke up for myself every time she crossed a line. I did not accuse her of anything; I just stated facts. I put an invisible energetic, and emotional boundary around myself and did not let her cross it. I tried to look at the situation objectively. I just focused on the facts about what was happening without attaching to the emotion. She had aggressive, rude energy. This was probably due to her inner dialogue and had nothing to do with me, but my emotions reacted with hurt and anger (understandably). I could have chosen to let the hurt and anger take over, and that would have been a perfectly natural response. I tried to recognize that I was having a mind-based fear response, and I realized that she had a problem, not me.
Within one week, she apologized to me, and her attitude completely changed. Was it Magic? Of course, I am inclined to believe it was a kind of Magic. The Magic of Boundaries.
Another place where I have learned to place boundaries is around my time. When I first decided that I need some time alone to write, every day, without interruptions, I felt so incredibly guilty. I would spend lots of time trying to justify to myself why I was still a good mom and why I deserve this sacred time.
I realized I was feeling guilty about taking time for myself to write because I had a belief that I don't deserve it. I started rationalizing in my mind, "I am taking the kids swimming later, so I'm a good mom," or I would start listing off all of the things I do for them to try and find my worthiness. Looking for worthiness this way is a losing game. No matter how much you do or give, it can't fill you up. You need to believe you are worth it, just as you are.
I now understand that holding a boundary with love is a loving act to myself. Being devoted to myself fills me up so that I have more love to give to others as well. I have practiced letting go of the guilt. I am confident about my boundaries, and I don't need excuses to assert them.
Now, if I am feeling angry or resentful about something, I follow these steps:
1. Notice the opportunity for growth. Be grateful, curious, loving and open.
I mentally thank the person or situation for trying to teach me. I am grateful, curious, and loving. I remain open and lean into the lesson.
2. Feel the feeling, then release it to the flow of the Universe.
I take time to journal out the feelings, and feel them in order to understand and release them.
3. Observation, introspection and answers.
In my journal, I ask for answers, and write them down. I try to look at the situation as an objective situation, without my emotions attached to it, to study it. I write down new narratives and other things that I want to keep in mind when dealing with the problem. Write out a clear boundary that I need to assert.
I approach the situation from a new perspective. If I am dealing with another person, I am non-confrontational, but firm. I send them light and love, and I speak my truth clearly and confidently.
I have found that I can have boundaries with others around my energy, emotions, time and space while still being open and loving. I also have boundaries with myself now too. One of them is this: I absolutely will not guilt trip myself about anything. My needs are important, and I love myself enough to make sure they are met.
Some Witches sprinkle a circle of salt on the ground around something that needs protection. If you are having a hard time asserting a boundary, a symbolic ritual might help. I love meditation and creative visualisation, personally. There is a wonderful fortifying meditation on my favorite podcast, here: https://woowooverse.com/episodes/ep2-bonus-gold-fortifying-grounding-meditation
Live Your Magical Life 😊