If you didn’t go up with present, appropriate and loving adults, then you were neglected or abused in some way.
Turns out, that’s good news.
Check out this quote from one of my favorite teachers & authors, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
“The original abandonment, the original abuse, the original horror has some reason and meaning in it. It is not senseless. It is not like being run down like a dog on the highway. Its meaning most often is the development of tremendous strength, tremendous power, tremendous intuition. And I will tell you frankly that most of the people who are the greatest healers living on the face of this earth are unmothered children. One of the great gifts of the unmothered child – and also the healer, and the writer and the musician and all those in the arts who live so close with their ear against the heartbeat of the archetypal unconscious – one of their strongest aspects is intuition.”
Boom! Isn’t that amazing?!
I so resonate. As a healer, writer and teacher, I relate to living “with my ear against the heartbeat of the archetypal unconscious.”
I can also relate to the feeling of being an unmothered child.
You see, it is vital that young beings receive appropriate and loving touch from the adults around them if they are to learn where they end and others begin.
When we’ve not received enough touch in our lives when we were young, or our parents crossed our boundaries by over-sharing, trying to make us more like their friends than children, or when we experienced other more blatant forms of abuse, we end up being adults who have a hard time maintaining appropriate emotional and physical boundaries.
We might be intuitive, we might have received that original wound and in it, found the gift of our lives, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have immense healing and pain to work through. We do. We also have to re-learn how to have those healthy boundaries and heal the wounds of that inner, unmothered child.
If we don’t heal those wounds, we end up enmeshed with partners in relationships. We give up our needs and desires for those of others, we compromise, we agree with others outwardly, even when inwardly we don’t, and we take out our frustrations and angers on others innapropriately, expecting them to meet all our needs.
It is our number one job in adulthood to know the boundary breaches that occurred when we were young, to determine the perpetrators, to grieve the pain and then to cultivate right relationship with ourself, engaging in self-love practices that nurture and help us to know where we end and others begin.
I know for me, growing up it has been very hard to maintain good boundaries, to disagree with others, to state my needs, or to take care of myself and know that I am okay when others won’t meet my needs.
This is a life practice, one that takes time and diligence.
Once we’ve healed ourselves and are loving ourselves, knowing we are whole and safe and not needing others to make us feel okay, then we can begin to have real relationships.
That means we show up knowing ourselves. I have to know what I feel and what I need in order to effectively communicate it to another.
Then, I have to be able to state my needs, but not expect that you will meet them. Being healthy means that I know my needs and wants, express them in a healthy way, and still maintain connection to myself. This is owning our stuff!
If I state my needs and then attempt to manipulate you, or force you to meet them, and I am angry at you when you don’t; that is childish.
An adult can state needs, and then take care of Self if another can’t meet those needs. An adult knows they have choice. An adult can say, “I have this need. This is a deal breaker for me. If you choose to do x,y,z, thenI will know that you’ve chosen to end our relationship.”
Then, said adult can take care of their emotions in a healthy way, walk away, and hold a boundary. That is being loving toward self and other. Not allowing someone to control us, not manipulating others, not taking out anger inappropriately, not blaming and abusing or name calling, NOT doing those things is being mature and healthy and being loving.
Holding a boundary teaches people how to treat us, and is an act of self-love and care.
To tell if your boundaries are in balance, notice for the next 24 hours how well you care for yourself.
- If you are hungry, do you eat right away, or do you do other things first?
- If you are tired, do you rest, take a nap, or put your head down on your desk at work and give yourself a few moments?
- If you need to drink water, do you drink it right away?
To Strengthen Your Boundaries, do the following:
- Practice saying your opinion out-loud to other people. To make it easy, start with the television or things you watch on-line. When you read or hear something that you don’t agree with, say aloud, “My opinion is different than that, I think: _____________.”
- Begin to notice that you are a separate, distinct human being, with likes and preferences and opinions different from others. Perhaps journal all the times you notice you are different from other people.
- Disagree with a friend. Notice where your view differs and say so.
You have physical and emotional boundaries and visible and invisible boundaries. Do you know where they are?
If not, begin to notice, amp up your awareness, celebrate your separateness, give to yourself, heal your past wounds and grievances, and enlist the help or support of a friend or counselor to hold space and SUPPORT YOU!
One of my favorite books on this subject matter is Boundaries, Where You End and I Begin. Check it out!
If you’d like to work one on one to clean your space, heal your past and gain clarity and power in showing up fully as who you are, now, then please download your FREE report up above, and sign up for a FREE strategy session.
To your wholehearted life,