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Mindfully Setting Boundaries

When we live an authentic and mindful life we become more aware of appropriate boundaries with the people in our life. Part of having appropriate boundaries in relationships means finding the right balance between being vulnerable and being protective. If we are too protective with the important people in our lives we will not find the emotional intimacy we are longing to experience. At the same time, if we are too vulnerable with people who we don't know well or who are untrustworthy, we will repeatedly get hurt.

When we stay mindful and present in our interactions our intuition will guide us regarding how much vulnerability is appropriate in any particular situation. If you are having trouble figuring out what your intuition is telling you, simply tune into your body. Listen to what it is saying. You many find that your chest is tight or your stomach is a little queasy. These are examples of the body speaking for the intuition. You may notice these physical sensations, or you may notice different feelings in your body. By mindfully paying attention you will gradually learn what bodily sensation you feel when you are allowing too much or not enough vulnerability. And over time you will get better at discerning how much or how little vulnerability to allow.

Many people find that this works well for them in most situations. However, this can get tricky when we encounter a person who has poor boundaries and/or has a habit of crossing the boundaries others set. When we encounter someone who doesn't respect our boundaries we often feel confused. We may questions ourselves and think that we are being too rigid or inflexible. If we continue the relationship we may find that the person continues to cross our boundaries until we feel we are being walked all over.

If you have someone in your life who you feel is walking all over your boundaries, gradually move those boundaries back to a place the feels safe to you. If they truly care about you and value the relationship they will accept the new boundaries. If not, you will have to decide whether you want to continue a relationship in which your boundaries are regularly being ignored.

If you meet someone new who doesn't respect your boundaries, don't second guess yourself. Trust your intuition and continue setting appropriate boundaries. If this person wants to build a healthy, trusting relationship with you they will be patient while you learn to trust them and gradually increase emotional intimacy. If they are not willing to be patient during this process, they are probably someone who will not respect your boundaries throughout the relationship. You will need to think carefully if this is someone you want in your life.