Forgiveness Factor: Boundaries and Me
We have looked at how setting boundaries with other people can help us on our forgiveness journey. Today, let's look at setting boundaries with ourselves.
I know a lot of people (including me) that struggle with self-forgiveness. I have lived through the mistakes I have made. I know what I have done to harm me and others. How can I forgive myself? I will talk about forgiving yourself at another time, today I want to talk about how setting boundaries can help us to forgive ourselves.
What am I allowed to say about myself?
Have you stopped and thought about, or kept track of, the negative things you say to yourself? Do you get to call yourself names no-one else is allowed to? Do you get to believe you should be perfect, but everyone else gets mercy? One boundary we can set is in how we talk about ourselves internally AND how we talk about ourselves to others. Start by becoming aware of what you say to yourself or about yourself. Then decide whether what you are saying is real and healthy. If you find yourself talking negatively about yourself, decide this negativity is not helping you forgive. Choose to correct yourself with kind words and with understanding. You are special, unique and irreplaceable. You are not an accumulation of your mistakes. You can change. You are allowed to set boundaries on how you talk to yourself and about yourself.
What am I allowed to do to myself?
I need to be careful about what I eat, why I eat and when I eat. I can easily eat my feelings. I can allow depression to keep me immobilized for days. I can be harsh on my body--not for growth, but for punishment. Again--becoming aware of why and what I am eating is a great first step. Making a small choice to eat something healthier or to be more active or to not hurt yourself is a great next step. Eventually we can get to the point where what we eat, drink, and do empowers us and we do it because we like ourselves--not as a punishment or an escape. You are allowed to set boundaries on how you treat yourself.
I know there are other ways to set boundaries for yourself. If you have other ways, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can revisit this topic.
A Little Something Extra
With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.
Dr. Kristin NeffTo help me in the area of self-compassion, I have chosen to journey through one of Dr. Neff's workbooks. If you would like to learn more about mindful self-compassion, please check out https://self-compassion.org/