What I’ve Discovered About Setting Boundaries

Wise words from a wise woman : “I’m not settling for half of anything!”

-Louise LeBrun

Make no mistake about it: boundaries always have consequences.

The question is, which consequences can you live with? 

Personally, I have discovered that not setting boundaries has cost me my ability (and willingness) to be authentic. It has demanded I capitulate my authenticity to the status quo of what is, rather than what could be, should I declare the truth of my experience out loud. Who stays and who goes? I don’t know. All I know is that self-betrayal is no longer an option. 

Neither is sustaining the illusion through self-betrayal. Ah, women know this one all too well. Manipulation as the strategy to default to the status quo of what is, to not upset anyone, to just keep moving forward pretending

Turns out, pretending is no longer an option for me. And, of course, as always, it is layered

In this short piece I will delve into what I have discovered about setting boundaries. This has been an ongoing conversation I have been on with the women in my Unapologetically Unfuckwithable yearlong group and the women in my last offering of Decloaking and Living Authentically. I even have a conversation with Karina Evangelista about it, which I will release as soon as I am done editing (such is the nature of DIYing my whole business; there’s a tremendous amount of infinitely rewarding work). 

In the meantime…

Here’s what I’ve discovered about setting boundaries: 

The vast majority of people who have been in my life out of obligation are slowly dwindling away. I would much rather not have this be the case; and, I cannot control how they respond. However, by revealing the truth of my experience to each one, I have discovered that most people (really, most people) would much rather keep pretending. The pink elephant in the room, according to them, isn’t the evident violation but my having chosen to declare clear boundaries around it. 

Read that again, because if you struggle with setting boundaries, you have got to know that the people who are unable and/or unwilling to meet you where you are, likely do not respect you. They may want to, they may try to, they may even have had in the past … and if you’re afraid of speaking your truth because of potential consequences, it is likely those people would rather get the sanitized version of you than the real version of you. They would rather be in the presence of the inauthentic version of you. 

The capitulation to that single act alone gives them permission to inadvertently walk all over you.

If you are feeling violated in a particular relationship (personal or professional or familial, etc) yet you feel unwilling and unable to speak your truth in order to keep the status quo, you are being inauthentic. For me, that was a hard pill to swallow, because I live my life deeply and profoundly committed to becoming a living expression of authenticity, embodied. 

And still, I have noticed the multiplicity of places and spaces where I showed up as smaller in order to sustain the default. Or where I showed up as savior (gross). Or where I showed up as good girl (grosser). See where I’m going with this? 

Inauthenticity, however, does not suit me. 

Neither does manipulation. 

So, if in order to sustain the
illusion perpetrated within the status quo by not setting  boundaries I must be inauthentic…

then I am inherently manipulative. 

Stay with me here: If I know that setting a boundary might cost me  a relationship and therefore I don’t set boundaries, I am, in effect, manipulating the circumstances to get the outcome I think I want  even if it costs me my authenticity and well-being. 

How many places and spaces do you do that? 

The thing about me is that once I awaken to my Truth, I never go back. Once I discover my truth, I must give voice to my newfound boundaries, no matter what. 

In that, people react. Some people walk away. Some people commit to righteous rage. Some people avoid the vocal declaration of the pink elephant and go on pretending still.  Others simply fall off my holodeck. And others still hear me, respect me, and therefore stay in the tough conversations with me until we are all left feeling heard and validated. 

Those people are the people I choose to keep in my inner circle. Because those people would rather get the emerging authentic version of me rather than the habituated version they think they know. In other words, they want to be in the presence of who I am rather than who they want me to be.

I cannot control how another chooses to act (that would be another layer of manipulation). No matter what another chooses,  I know I stand in integrity and therefore become indifferent to their choice. After all, I know: their choices are all about them, and mine are all about me. 

However, I am unwilling to ever again betray myself.  If being in another’s  ‘in-group’ requires me to become a living expression of a boundaryless existence, I’d rather be on my own. Self-betrayal is no longer an option. I’ve seen the cost to myself, and I will never capitulate the same way again (I’m sure I’ll find other ways, LOL, such is the journey of perpetual evolution). 

In continuing to stand my ground because I trust my Self wholeheartedly, I know that the people who stand with me are powerful allies. I would rather have those powerful allies be beside me than someone I have to manipulate to be in my existence. 

In becoming the living expression of a graceful yet unapologetic and unfuckwithable  boundary I mindfully choose an expansive, free life and therefore create a reality where who I am is cherished by the right people,  rather than tolerated by the people I think should.

It isn’t easy to live openly, honestly and directly with unfuckwithable grace; it isn’t easy to declare out loud the truth of my experience, especially when I believe it will cost me the status quo of what is; it isn’t easy to become authenticity, expressing and trusting the process; yet, without that … I know, all I’ve got is to hang on to the illusion. 

And personally, I choose living my truth anyday.

In this podcast episode, Karina Evangelista and I explore authenticity as boundary and what it means to be a boundaried being. Not an easy undertaking given that women who have been told our whole lives to not rock the boat — as if declaring what’s meaningful for us in an open, honest, clear and direct way somehow violates another. At the end of the day, wee don’t need to set boundaries; instead we need to BECOME the boundary through our very being. Enjoy!

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How wonderful you chose this for yourself! Now all that's left is to enjoy the process of self-discovery!