I write often about the art of learning to set limits for myself and boundaries for others, because I find it to be a challenging and sometimes complex maze to weave through daily. Partly because setting and honoring limits doesn’t come naturally to me. Partly because I’m still a little pissed I can’t do everything I want, whenever I want. Partly because I’m different everyday and can’t confidently predict how I’m going to feel tomorrow or next week.
And yet setting limits cleanly and honoring them, is easily the most important new skill I’ve developed as a person with chronic health issues. When I do it well, I’m better off. When I don’t, the cost can be high. The essence of that cost is that I lose at least a little – and sometimes a lot – of my independence and freedom about how to live my life. My options are few when I’m only able to lie down or sleep…
Of course, knowing and doing are two different beasts. So the act of setting a limit/boundary and honoring it – is in fact a skill that can be learned. If you’re already good at it great. If you’re not, can you let yourself be “not good” at it and try it anyway? Can you practice? Can you set the intention of “growing that muscle” of setting limits or boundaries and approach it with curiosity and self compassion?
Can you have faith that, while it may never be easy, you CAN get better and experience less suffering?
Can you give yourself permission to start practicing the art of honoring what you know to be your limits with one small step today? ~Z