The recovery process of healing from our addictions, toxic relationships and mental health issues involves looking at the ways in which we have set boundaries in our past relationships. The more we can learn from our past, the more we can apply the lessons we’ve learned in order to establish better boundaries and foster healthier relationships. What do healthy boundaries look like?
We each have to decide for ourselves what our boundaries are and how we are going to manage them in our relationships. Our emotions and emotional responses are highly subjective. We are emotional creatures. Therefore, our needs and boundaries are going to be unique to us.
We can start by looking at our past relationships, in particular the ones that were codependent and/or abusive. How did we operate in these relationships? What did we allow? What did we enable? In what ways did we settle for less than we deserved? Did we know what our needs were? Did we communicate those needs? How did we respond when the other person didn’t meet our needs? What boundaries did we draw? How did we react and respond when our boundaries were crossed? How did we communicate about our boundaries? How did we handle the needs and boundaries of others?
Work to answer these questions for yourself, and any others that come up for you. You can incorporate them into a journaling practice. You can look at your answers with a therapist, mentor or friend to help gain perspective and broaden the conversation.
The more we can analyze our own choices and behaviors in our relationships, the more we gain understanding about ourselves and what our needs are. We begin to formulate healthier boundaries around what we will and won’t tolerate, and what respect looks and feels like to us. We learn more about our communication styles and how we can work to improve them for future relationships. We give more thought to what our needs are in terms of things like space, time and privacy. We can learn more about what it means for us to have emotional independence and autonomy. We can assess how we work and interact with other people, how we compromise, and how we how we respond to challenges.
Learning more about how we’ve established and maintained boundaries in the past can help us to prioritize ourselves and our wellbeing going forward.
The community at Vista Taos can help you to explore these and many other issues and support you in your recovery. Call (575) 586-5078 for more information.