“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
– Brene Brown
Ever since I heard of the law of attraction, I’ve tried to reconcile the idea that we create our own reality with our thoughts with the fact that other people also create their realities with their thoughts. So how can we both create our shared experiences?
When you experience something unpleasant that is seemingly “caused” by an external source, and yet you know that you create your experiences with your own thoughts and beliefs, knowing whether you need to clear a limiting belief or set boundaries for how others treat you becomes fuzzy.
The truth is, it’s both. You have a limiting belief that attracted the situation into your experience, and the other party has crossed your boundary of acceptable behavior, because of your limiting belief that matches their limiting belief. Although you create your reality, others play a role in it, and where they show up, it overlaps with their reality, and their thoughts and beliefs must be aligned with yours for the shared experience to occur. Sometimes, those common beliefs are below the surface, buried deep enough that we don’t even know we have such thoughts.
It doesn’t mean that the experience did not happen or the other person didn’t behave in the negative manner. They did. So if someone tells you they didn’t do something that you in fact experienced, and they tell you that it’s just your perception, that’s not true. It did happen. Your thoughts, fears, or beliefs caused it to happen, but the person acting out their part also accepted that truth in order to create it.
It can be frustrating and irksome when someone won’t admit to their actions, or tries to re-write history. Try not to get caught up in that. I know it’s hard, trust me, I know. The thing that matters is that you don’t need to work it out with them, you can work it out completely on your own. Take solace in knowing that they played their part based on their own beliefs and accept that your experience is a result of your thinking. That doesn’t mean you have to excuse, disregard or ignore the other person’s role. What you do need to do is come to terms with it, forgive and accept the experience, take the lessons from it, clear your own limiting beliefs, and move on.
There are many ways of getting past a negative experience. Once you have reprogrammed your own beliefs to better serve you, you might decide to let some people in your life go their separate ways, and that’s ok. It could also mean that you decide to continue to have a relationship with people who participated in the unwanted experience, and let them know what your boundaries are. When you let people cross your boundaries, you tell your subconscious that it’s ok for people to behave that way with you. If it’s not ok, then don’t act like it’s ok.
You get to decide what you will accept in your life. It’s ok to decide you don’t want to continue certain patterns or experiences, even if you’ve been doing that dance your whole life. It doesn’t matter if the dance is with a friend, a lover, a family member or a colleague, if you don’t want to dance anymore, you don’t have to. You can either teach them how to treat you now, and if they aren’t willing to accept the new you, you don’t have to hold on to them.
“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”
You have to learn to say no without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries is healthy. You need to learn to respect and take care of yourself.
“Much of the time, the things we feel guilty about are not our issues. Another person behaves inappropriately or in some way violates our boundaries. We challenge the behavior, and the person gets angry and defensive. Then we feel guilty.”
– Melody Beattie
I know it’s not always easy to set boundaries and stick to them. You will encounter resistance because people are accustomed to a certain pattern of behavior, but once you draw your line and get comfortable with the new paradigm, you will come through it with stronger and more authentic relationships. What’s even more rewarding is that your relationship with yourself becomes stronger and you begin to know Who You Really Are.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!