Hey hey! After talking with a friend about some challenges she was facing with her family, reflecting on my recent dating experience and listening to Bag Lady by miss Erykah Badu, I decided that this month I wanted to talk about boundaries.
"Bag lady, you gon' hurt your back, draggin all your bags like that"
My friend is always available for her family, always says yes and is always constantly doing above and beyond for them. She was giving so much of herself without much (positivity) in return. We can say she is reaching a point where she is pouring form an empty cup at this point. In this same moment she is taking on their responsibilities. She fills up bags with their problems and carries them with her. They are weighing her down. I've been reflecting on my most recent dating experience. I've can now see how the lacking of defining and committing to boundaries worked against my well being. Metaphorically, I was carrying everything I didn't want as if it was welcomed to roll with me. MY bags were heavy with doubt, fear of the unknown, dishonesty and resentment. I dragged them with me for too long.
"One day all them bags gon' get in your way"
As my friend and I continued to express our growing pains to one another it was becoming clear to me that we were tripping over ourselves and making a mess. I was definitely starting to make a mess bit by bit. Here we are trying to maintain, accommodate and be who and what we think the people close to us want us to be. We had acquired bags filled with things that weren't even ours to carry. No one asked us to do so but we did.
As we concluded our heart to heart I shared with her some ways that she could begin to implement boundaries slowly with her family. As for me, it was too late for that. I now have a clearer understanding of my boundaries, why I shouldn't cross them or allow other people to and why it is imperative that I communicate them with others as well as uphold them.
- What are some of your boundaries with friends and family?
- How do you practice maintaining them?
- What advice would you give to someone who is struggling?
Here are some resources for setting boundaries and putting them bags down
Managing Boundaries with Others, Part 2: Setting and Reinforcing Boundaries By: Vanessa Stevens
"Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go"