How to Implement Boundaries without Changing who you are!
You are not here to save anyone or anything!
This is a topic that I have noticed showing up in private sessions with my clients, a big fear for empaths is “if I put boundaries in place I will lose what I feel is me, my need to help others, how do I do that if I have boundaries?”
When I see these themes occurring I know it’s something that more than just my clients are experiencing, so felt it was an important topic to talk about. I would love you to consider this for yourself, when you think about putting boundaries in place, what do you feel? Do you worry about having to change who you truly are by putting boundaries in place?
Many empaths logically know that they need to put boundaries in place but on a deep core/soul level they feel a sense of obligation and even guilt to continue to be an open door to help people.
I get this completely as this was me, I was told so many times, you need to put boundaries in place and I was like nope not doing it. I too felt that to put boundaries in place I would need to change who I was, I am a caring and kind person, I help people, with boundaries I can’t do that……Sound familiar?
I came to a place where I no longer had a choice, I could not continue to be a door mat, to have a revolving door for people. They would come in dump everything on me and feel so much better and then walk back out my revolving door, leaving me feeling exhausted, drained and overwhelmed.
Then the next time would come, again walk in, dump, walk out and I wouldn’t hear from them again until the next time and the next time and the next time.
I had to finally put a stop to it realising I could no longer be the door mat, and have the revolving door to these people. Whilst it was not their fault, I had allowed them to do that, always being there for them, dropping everything every time they needed me. Putting a stop to it was important, both for me and for them, constantly fixing things for people is not doing them any favours, it was in actual fact dis-empowering them.
An important thing to understand is, as empaths and as sensitive souls we have an innate need within us to serve others. We are here to help people and the thought of putting in boundaries mean I won’t be able to help them anymore and then I won’t get to feel fulfilled because I can’t do the one thing that my soul craves and that is to help and serve.
For a lot of you I know that it can feel selfish and what I learned about that personally was, if I didn’t put boundaries in place I then wouldn’t be available for anybody. As a mum to two teenage girls, my medical warriors as I like to call them as they have both been through some pretty dire medical emergencies over the years. They are the ones that deserve my energy more than anybody else.
Being a revolving door or a door mat meant I didn’t have the energy for the people that truly deserved it. The people that are the most important to me, not only the ones that are there for me, but the ones that continually show up, they prove themselves over and over and over again. They are the ones that deserved my energy.
Not the people that would come and go only when they either needed me for something or needed something from me, then they would leave and I wouldn’t hear from them again till the next time.
I then learned that I could actually be more powerful and have more influence, one because my energy was higher as I was no longer being a door mat, not been the person that they would come to and I would fix it for them or save them from something. This was a big lesson I had to learn, I am not here to save anyone or anything.
“You are not here to save anyone or anything”
I am here as a place where people can start to unload but then find the power and healer within them so they can help themselves. So if you can go from saying I am here to help people, to save people or to fix people to I am here to empower people. You will have so much more influence on people, the people in your life and people you don’t even know, you are going to have more power in that, more influence in that if you choose to work to empower them.
I’m not going to save them, I am not going to fix it for them, I am not going to do it for them, I am going to empower them to do it for themselves.
They are then going to be able to go on in their life been able to take care of themselves, empower themselves and be more independent. It was a time of reminding myself by saying “Nicole remember where your power is, remember your power is within empowering them to do it for themselves, in holding the space for them to find all they need within them”.
As empaths and sensitive souls we do that very well, I am sure you have noticed in your life that people, strangers even come up and just unload, telling you their life story and usually without any prompting. That is because that is your power, your power to allow people to feel like you are their safe space to finally let go of what they have been carrying around.
The mistake we tend to make and I made it very early on as well, is that we don’t feel like that is enough. How is just listening enough, I have to do something about this, and that is a human need, feeling we need to fix it and make it better.
But if we can start to understand just how powerful that is, just listening. If you have ever had an experience where someone just listens to you, not listening to respond but really listening to hear you, focusing wholly on you, not distracted by anything else, you would know just how impactful that is.
That is the gift you give to other people, just listening, focusing on them and them only and that in itself is enough, you are enough. You don’t have to do anything else, you don’t have to fix anything and you don’t have to have all the answers.
I know when I first started in my Counsellor studies that was my biggest fear, that I wouldn’t know the answers, what the right advice to give would be. The first thing my teacher said to me was “being a Counsellor is never about giving advice, we don’t give advice, we help our clients to find the answers for themselves”, boy was that a huge weight off my shoulders.
It is the same for you, you don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to listen and care and as an Empath my love, you have that in the bag.
Now within that an important point and something I really want you to understand is, the process is:
- You listen
- Allow them to release what they need to let go of
- You also let it go, you do not absorb it, you do not carry it
As empaths we can have a bad habit of feeling that if someone is sharing it with me then that must mean I am supposed to carry it, or I am strong enough to carry it. No, that is not the reason, the reason is like I said before you are the safe place for them to unload, not to absorb and not to carry.
An analogy for you: When you are going on a trip and you take your bags to the departure desk at the airport, you don’t give the bag to the customer service officer do you, you put it on the conveyor belt. The person serving you and getting you booked in, isn’t going to then carry your bags for you, are they? Of course not they are just the safe place for your bags to go, knowing that they are in the right place and will be boarded onto the plane.
It is the same for you when people unload, it’s not because they want you to carry it, it’s because they just need to stop carrying it themselves. So you allow them to unload and as I said that is a huge service you are providing right there and then you allow the baggage to be on its way.
- You are not fixing
- You are not saving
- You are not giving advice
- You are not absorbing
You are allowing that person to feel freer, to feel lighter, to feel heard and to feel understood and that is such a powerful gift you can give to people.
Now to bring all of this back around to the idea of boundaries, you are going to see that implementing boundaries is actually two fold:
- We are implementing those boundaries so people don’t feel that they can walk all over us, or they can’t take up all of our time. They need to start to respect us and respect our time.
- It is also a boundary for yourself, you also do not step over that line. You hold the space for them, but you do not absorb and you do not step over that line into their energy field and try to fix or save them.
I hope you can start to see that if we do it in that way, that we are not changing who we are, we are still the same person you don’t have to be different. You don’t have to stop being who you are or fulfilling that innate need of wanting to help people. It is changing what helping people means, changing what serving people means.
It is changing what helping and serving people means.
What you are now doing is just holding that container, that allows people to feel safe in unloading and letting go of what is just too damn heavy to continue carrying around, emptying it into the container, you are closing the lid and then its done.
Instead of being completely open and having no boundaries and allowing them to step over that, then feeling they are telling me this, so it must be my job to fix it. It must be my job to save them, NO it is not!
If you continue to do that, continue to not have any boundaries, continue to be the person that fixes everything for people or having to save people all of the time. You are actually doing them a dis-service, we are all here to have our lessons, for our soul to grow but if you are continually going out of your way to fix and save people you are removing that opportunity of growth for them.
If you can think about it in that way, that by putting these boundaries in place I am actually helping them, I am empowering them for learning and growth the boundaries will no longer feel like you are doing something wrong or being selfish.
You are not losing your ability to help people, you are helping them in a different way.
You are going to help them to grow and a great example of this is when our kids start to grow, when they are little you are leading them along their path but as they become older, teenagers and young adults its time for us to step off their path and walk along side them.
Another great way to look at boundaries from an empowered place is to look at the role of our guardian angels, if you have been with me for a while you will know that your guardian angel can not step in and help you unless you ask aka boundaries. So if you start to see yourself as an Earth Angel just walking along side people, guiding and helping them without stepping over yours and their boundaries, you are going to be one powerful earthly being.
Put your boundaries in place, Be their Guide and watch both yours and their lights start to shine like never before.
If you are having trouble putting your boundaries in place and are noticing you are feeling guilty or selfish and left feeling exhausted, drained and overwhelmed. I can help you to heal those emotions and allow you to become that powerful earthly being. Click here to book your appointment.