Here is an excerpt from Doreen Virtue’s book “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” about creating healthy boundaries for that I believe you will find valuable. Setting clear boundaries will help you manage your life, mind and energy more efficiently, so you will not move into overwhelm or over stimulation as often as you would without the clear boundaries.
The link for the book:
A boundary is your limit, which no one can overstep or violate. No matter who the other person is or how much you love him or her, your boundary is something that he or she is not allowed to breach.
For instance, I have boundaries in all of my relationships that dictate that you must treat me with respect. I, in turn, will treat you with respect. This is a nonnegotiable boundary for me, and if anyone violates this and is disrespectful toward me, I will try to clear the energy by discussing my feelings and boundaries, and then listening to the other person. If he or she continues to be disrespectful toward me, the relationship is over, without any guilt on my part. I still love the person, but because of the behavior overstepping my firm boundary, I no longer have contact with him or her. Boundaries are a necessary part of self-care, just like washing your hair or wearing shoes to protect your feet. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.
Every relationship has issues and negotiations about each person’s personal boundaries. So it’s not whether you have conflict, but how you deal with conflict that matters for a long-term relationship.
Personal boundaries include how much . . .
• . . . body space and distance from other people you need.
• . . . time alone you prefer.
• . . . affection and romance you need.
• . . . you need to hear words of affection.
• . . . you need your personal items to be left alone and untouched by others.
• . . . you require honesty, reliability, and sobriety within the relationship.
• . . . financial equality and fairness matter to you [. . . and so forth].
Part of being an assertive Earth Angel is learning how to have the strength and the courage to maintain your boundaries. It can get exhausting when it feels like other people are trying to step all over your boundaries. It might wear you down, and you start to think, Does this really matter? Well, it does!
Your inner self relies upon your outer self for caretaking. You might say that your inner self is like a little child you’re nurturing. That means that if it’s tired or needs to play, your outer self should honor this and not push your inner self beyond its limits.
Even though the other person may be disappointed or even angry when you say no, believe me when I tell you that he or she does understand. Remember that the other person is human, too, and knows what limitations are like. Even if your refusal comes as a disappointment, deep down he or she will respect you for it!
When you say no, you’re modeling healthy behavior for others. Part of the reason why they may react angrily toward you is because it’s never occurred to them that they could say no to unreasonable demands put upon their own time!
So when you do something that people haven’t seen you do previously—like saying no—they may be surprised. They may take your no personally, and it’s okay for you to briefly explain that this isn’t anything personal and has to do with you maintaining clear boundaries with respect to your schedule.
Don’t feel like you have to explain why you’re saying no, though. The more you explain why, the more leverage the other person has, which he or she can use to manipulate you into changing that no into a yes.
Boundaries mean that you teach people what you will and won’t accept in the relationship. They can be a lot of work, but that’s what it takes to build a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
Another important boundary is to respect your right to schedule your time. Don’t allow others to dictate your schedule to you. For instance, you have the right to not answer the phone or doorbell when it rings, and to not feel obligated to immediately answer emails or social media posts. If someone asks you to drop everything to drive them across town, you have the right to say no. It’s like the old adage: “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.” We must overcome impulsive rescuing tendencies.
A lot of people use guilt to manipulate others into getting their way. They also include flattery mixed with guilt. So, as an example, they’ll say, “Only you can help me; and if you don’t help me, there will be horrible consequences for me.”
As a sensitive Earth Angel, you don’t want anyone to suffer, so you allow the other person’s words to manipulate and control you. Then you feel weak and used, as well as resentful and angry. Add to this the frustration that arises because you’ve backtracked on your promise to take excellent care of yourself . . . and you’ve got a heap of toxic energies inside your mind, emotions, and body.
It’s so important to remind yourself that every person has the same Source: God. Those who play with your emotions to get their way are creations of God, just like you and everyone else. You’re not their God, nor are you their Source. So, allow Source God to be the person’s caretaker. Pray for guidance about how you can truly help him or her gain strength and be self-sufficient.
Of course, there will be instances where you’re acting as an Earth Angel and bringing forth God’s help through your efforts. But those instances are clearly guided by love, not by guilt.
If you’re giving because of guilt, it’s not true or pure giving, as was discussed in the previous chapter. Your gift out of guilt is tainted with toxic energies.
Boundaries are a form of self-care. When you stand up for your boundaries, meaning that you don’t allow others to manipulate, guilt, or control you, your inner self applauds and thanks you.
Your self-esteem and confidence increase whenever you successfully stand up for yourself.
Now, by “stand up for yourself,” I don’t mean that you’re aggressively pronouncing judgments over others. Remember that assertiveness upholds everyone’s rights: yours and those of the other person involved. When you maintain your boundaries and say no with grace, love, and firmness, you teach people how to handle boundaries.
You’re not their Source; God is! If you make yourself their Source, then how will they ever learn to support themselves and grow?
When I was first teaching angel courses, I made time to sit down personally one-on-one with each student. During these individual sessions, I’d tune in to the student’s angels and answer all of the questions that he or she had. And then I’d go home and be ill and tired for two to three days after the workshop; I had allowed myself to become drained, under the misguided notion that I was the one to help and serve all these students.
After that, I realized that I wasn’t doing myself or them any favors by being so accessible. I realized that it was important for me to model good healthy boundaries to my students, many of whom were in training to become spiritual teachers themselves. I needed to teach each student how to access Divine guidance and answers for him- or herself, instead of needing to go through me or another person.
So, in my teaching I began emphasizing how to receive clear angel messages for yourself. I also created definite breaks in the schedule for the course, during which I wouldn’t allow anyone to ask me questions. When questioned during my break, I’d say: “Other people may want to hear the answer to this question, so let’s save it for when we’re all back together.” I’d also tell students that I was in a human body that needed rest and recharging.
I knew that by taking a break, I’d be a more effective and higher-energy teacher. I’d also be happier, which is a very important quality in a teacher. I’ve always told my students that it’s beneficial to take lots of different classes, as long as the teacher is a happy person. A happy teacher teaches other people how to be happy, both directly and by role-modeling happiness. And happiness is the most important thing anyone can teach!
In addition, when you exercise strong and healthy boundaries as a parent, you teach your children how to do the same. Don’t you want your children to grow up learning to respect themselves, their time, and their energy levels? Of course you do! Well, so too does God want this for you and everyone else!
Affirm often: “I think I can; therefore I can!”
Plenty of people come to me and argue in favor of their limitations. They forcefully tell me why they can’t enact the positive action steps that their angels are guiding them to take. They imply that they’re somehow special and are being blocked or thwarted from their dreams. Everyone else gets cut a break, but they’re very special victims in their own minds.
If they would put half the energy they expend arguing for what they can’t do toward arguing in favor of what they can do, then they would be well on their way to living their dream lives!
When you exercise your boundaries and learn to say no, you have more free time to devote to your passions and priorities, instead of feeling like you have to steal away moments to write that article, take that class, read that book, learn to play that musical instrument, start that new business, practice your healing skills . . . and so forth.
Boundaries give you a healthier and happier mind and a higher energy level, because you’re no longer fixated on the thought that people have taken advantage of you. When you feel resentful, you obsessively think about the other person’s mean behavior toward you. This type of thought pattern, if left unchecked, can lead to depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, loneliness, fearfulness, and other toxic results.
Find “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1401928803/hayhousecom-20