The Grief That Comes With Setting Boundaries

November 24, 2022

People always tell me I’m a boss with boundaries, and in many ways, I am.

I have seriously firm boundaries in my business that many aspire to set themselves. Boundaries that leave heads spinning with, “really, you do/say that?” Heck yes, I do.

I’ve learned to set boundaries in my personal life over the last several years. To make myself matter and act when lines are crossed because swallowing my truth, not honoring my needs, and allowing others to treat me poorly damn near killed me.

So I learned.

I found my ‘no’, and I got far better at asserting it, no matter how terrifying.

I prioritized my needs and stopped bending for others, speaking my truth transparently and in real-time.

I stopped excusing poor, toxic, or abusive behavior just because I understood why some people are the way they are.

I let go of a lot of hands.

I left a lot of spaces.

Yesterday I set a big boundary.

Deciding to do so wasn’t hard because it’s toxic behavior I refuse to ever tolerate again. Something familiar happened, and my whole body said, “absolutely frickin not.” Boundary set, easy peasy. Yet the grief that surfaced after was immense.

The recognition in my body of how many times I’ve experienced this and how long I tolerated it from this particular person.

The heartbreak of honoring ourselves and setting boundaries isn’t something we talk enough about. We often feel empowered when we set boundaries and follow through on their consequences. We feel peace.

And sometimes, we feel grief.

Heavy, immense grief that moves through our bodies like a rolling, chaotic storm.

Not necessarily about the person or experience itself, but because we must acknowledge all the times we didn’t set boundaries in the past. All the times we abandoned ourselves or tolerated the intolerable. How we didn’t love ourselves enough to take a stand for more, better, and different. How much unhealed trauma we carried that kept us paralyzed.

I have a lot to say about boundaries.

So much so that I think it’ll be my next short book.

For now, with the holidays upon us, I’m sending love to those having to deal with boundary violations and toxic treatment.

You deserve better.

Don’t forget it.

My writing has moved to Substack!

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