It wasn't until the vintage age of 31, that I was introduced to the idea of creating and maintaining healthy boundaries. I'm so grateful I did as it has enhanced my life on so many levels and in so many ways.
I remember the conversation as if it were yesterday. I was sitting in the center of my couch and having yet another, allergic reaction to the cyclops storm that life had decided to fling my way. It was the turning of the tide--I'd recently slid into a milestone and within my first week of visiting this foreign place the bottom had fallen out before I even knew what happened.
Devastated, I'd asked the question, "why do these people continue to do these things to me?" On the other end of the phone was hearty laughter (yup, you guessed it--I was talking to someone far older than I) that I didn't appreciate on any level. But, it was in the moment afterwards that was most important and where the gem lied, buried. She said, "Keisha, you have to set boundaries. For everyone, including your children and if you don't the world and it's inhabitants will take you over." Literally baffled, I held the phone in utter silence, confused look on my face while the lightbulb in my head went off. Why hadn't I thought of that, but then I remembered as I finally thought of a reply, "I had never heard of that before. I didn't know."
But, ask me am I a pro at it now. Let me answer, even if you didn't care to ask; yes, for GOD! I mean every bit of my boundaries now as they're generally non-negotiable. These boundaries are set into place to protect both you and I--even if folks are unaware that they were created with great care for all involved. And, like everything else, they're a work in progress and constantly evolve.
Here's the real tea though, interestingly enough, I've found that many folks despise my boundaries--I've even been called out flatly about them as she yelled, "Keisha, you and your fucking boundaries!" Thanks for noticing!
They help me weed out the loose rap and ill-intended quickly as a well-intended person may not necessarily like the boundary, yet they will respect it and me for having some. The well folks of the world doesn't normally have any desire to negotiate with me regarding them, it's the other ones that make an incredible fuss about them.
And, just like I demand respect of my mine, I respect the boundaries of others. I understand their purpose as they assist us in maintaining our wellness. They also encourage us to be more mindful of others and to be our best selves. They create a great sense of self and allow us to relate to others in a way that would have been impossible had they not been place.
So, to all of you out there that may have been hesitant about placing healthy boundaries into your life, this is for you, this is your permission and/or "go ahead" to create some, as we all need them (hell, we need them with ourselves).
Keep the emotional vampires, vultures and buzzards at bay--not saying that those beautiful birds and creations of the Creator doesn't have a place in this world, it just doesn't belong in your life.
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*Swish, scratch, swish*...went the brushes and palm swipes of seven-subtly, eager artists against their roughly-textured and prepped canvases. Resonating incredibly soothing feels, like a medium-bristled brush being lovingly and carefully raked through her hair. It gave her the chills (click to read more of the sample and purchase)...
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