4 Steps to Setting Energetic and Emotional Boundaries That Help You Honor Your Sacred Self
I think at some point or another we have all been diagnosed with this cumbersome label. From giving too much to others and feeling resentful to needing too much from others and losing our sense of self, to shutting others out altogether, boundary setting is a field in which we are all constantly experiencing trial, error, and opportunities for growth. But here’s the thing: I’ve never found this term helpful.
Personally, the word “boundaries” conjures up the image of a fortress: a line that may not be crossed, a fence that keeps things out. If you google “healthy boundaries,” you’ll find the most common reason people shy away from creating them is a fear of alienating themselves from the ones they love.
Speaking as a formerly codependent person who lived with this fear on the daily, I can tell you that the idea of setting boundaries only served to send my separation anxiety into a tailspin. More than that, it’s a term that just never resonated. Perhaps because of how inflexible it feels. It wasn’t until I began my studies in Spiritual Psychology that I found the concept I’d been looking for, the perfect descriptor for the process of owning my truth and advocating for my needs. That term is called Self-Honoring, and for me, it cracked the process of creating independence wide open.
I’m Emily Anderson, a transformational coach and founder of Life of the Mind. My mission in my work is to empower my clients with the belief that they are sacred, and that their unique, individual self is worth honoring. I’m excited to be sharing all I’ve learned about Self-Honoring and how to put it into practice in our upcoming Holisticism workshop, but for now, here are the most game-changing discoveries I’ve made in my explorations with this process.
Four Steps to Self-Honoring
Step 1: Remember You Are Sacred
This is something that doesn’t get discussed in clinical forms of psychology or in most conversations on boundaries. But with Self-Honoring and soul-centered approaches to healing, it’s the heart of the whole process. You are a soul— a divine being having a human experience. Infinite intelligence is present and pulsing through every cell in your body and sending you guidance at all times.
Which means that everything about you is sacred, including your individuality. Including your right to be lit up by something you love and go for it. Including your right to feel weird about something and to say, “No, thanks.”
When we start to view our selfhood and our inner guidance as sacred, we start connecting to our inherent sense of self-worth. We feel empowered to honor our truth regardless of how others may react as we understand that it is a divine gift to be cherished.
Step 2: It’s About You, Not Them
One thing I love about Self-Honoring vs. boundaries is that the former keeps us centered in our own experience. Oftentimes with the idea of boundaries, our focus can become too much about us vs. other(s) when the truth is our outer experiences are actually a reflection of our inner reality or our energy. When we start doing the work to honor ourselves at a foundational level, we’ll most often find that our relationships in the outside world follow suit. We can set boundaries with people all we want, but if we aren’t shifting our energy within by loving and honoring ourselves, chances are our words and actions aren’t going to have much of an impact.
Step 3: The Truth is a Feeling
This one is so crucial to the process of self-honoring I cannot stress it enough.
Contrary to how most of us were raised to make decisions, our unique truth is not a concept that can be arrived at through our logic and thinking, it lives in our bodies and our senses. Truth is our intuition. So, in order to honor ourselves, we need to get present and grounded in our bodies.
Try it today. Tune in to how your body responds when you interact with one person versus another. When someone hugs or touches you. Tune out what your logic says and simply focus on the sensations you are experiencing. By merely being present in your body, you may be surprised to discover that a longstanding dynamic you had always assumed was okay, has actually been sparking an adverse reaction in your senses.
This understanding also helps to unpack the notion that our own truth is something we need to be able to explain and/or justify to others. Sometimes, many times, it’s merely a feeling, and that doesn’t make it any less valid.
Step 4: Honoring Yourself Honors the Collective
There can be a misconception with boundaries that we need to shut others out to create them, or that they will make us seem harsh and/or selfish all of which leads to underlying feelings of guilt. But from the perspective of Self-Honoring, we understand that the only way we can be our best selves and serve our communities is if we are serving our own truth first. Honoring yourself is without a doubt the most important, loving, caring, generous, beautiful work you will ever do in the world because by doing so, you give others the permission and the example as to do how to do the same for themselves. The freedom offered in this perspective is truly endless.
If you’re interested to learn more about this soul-centered and highly effective approach to boundaries and how to start putting it into practice, join us for our upcoming virtual workshop.
Together we’ll take a deep dive into the process of Self-Honoring, explore answers to FAQs on boundaries and debunk the most common fears about what it means to embody your truth - things like codependency and enmeshment, moving out of your comfort zone vs. violating your inner guidance, and how to deal with the tests that can and will come when you start fully owning your right to be you.