Setting Spiritual Boundaries: Learning to Flow Like Water with Your Second Energy!
This year, we’re being called to take a more active role in the Collective — to break down what separates us and move forward to a new reality, one that is more loving, equitable, and just for all.
One point of confusion is the idea of being part of the larger whole of humanity, at the same time we respect and maintain our individual identities. That gives rise to questions like:
- How do I break down walls of separation while maintaining boundaries?
- How do I love others and still take care of myself?
- How do I set or maintain healthy boundaries while deepening connection with others?
There are many misunderstandings around the topic of boundaries, particularly spiritual boundaries.
There’s a tendency to think of it as an either/or or all or nothing proposition. Either we love someone else and give them what they want, or we are heartless and will end up alone. Either we sacrifice all for the collective good, or we maintain our separateness and isolation.
The truth is, there is a Divine dance between the individual and the collective, between “me” and “we.” Both can exist at once… and, in fact, you are an essential part of the whole!
That means when you care for yourself, from a heart-centered, healthy place, you are also caring for the whole of humanity. What you do for one, you do for all — even (and especially!) when the “one” is yourself.
A lot of what we work with in our second energy center is around the topic of healthy boundaries and intimacy. We walk the sacred line between disconnection and overidentifying with another. Here are some ways to set healthy boundaries with others, and with yourself!
Empaths As Boundary-Setters
Do you sense you actually feel too much on behalf of others?
A friend tells you about the abusive relationship they’re enmeshed in, and you feel the terror, anxiety, and dread as clearly and heavily as if it were you in the relationship. A dose of the nightly news is enough to send you to bed with a cold compress and a box of chocolates. You enter an online discussion forum, and you are immediately overwhelmed by the energy you’re sensing, even through the screen of your computer.
When it’s hard to tell where you end and the world begins, it’s essential that you set healthy boundaries for yourself.
Be aware of how others’ energy affects you. If someone makes you feel “off” or drained, they are not good for you, no matter how charismatic they are! Trust your intuition and take care of yourself by giving yourself plenty of distance, emotional and energetic recovery time, and self-care.
Codependency or Closeness?
Back in my private reading years, I worked with so many people who mistook codependency for closeness. They’d tell me how close they felt, how much this other person needed them, how they’d surely shrivel up like a plant without water or sunlight if their special connection was broken.
I’ve also personally struggled in the past with unhealthy attachments both with people who project them on to me welcomed by my “inner rescuer” fed by my own sense of needing to be needed or I don’t deserve to take up space. This is a complex and sticky subject. Maybe you identify?
It’s often hard to hear that what you’re experiencing in cases like this is an unhealthy connection, not healthy intimacy. If the other person is dependent on you or you on them, you’ve given up your power, and you are addicted to that neediness, you’ve got a bad case of enmeshment and you may have taken up residence in what I call Codependent Land. The only way out is to break the ties that bind.
As impossible as it may seem to stand on your own, what’s needed is a clear boundary between what’s your stuff and what’s theirs. People-pleasing will not give you true intimacy or fulfillment.
Setting Boundaries for Ourselves
We most often think of boundaries in terms of what we will and won’t allow in our relationships with others. But what if boundaries can also be effective tools when used internally? After all, sometimes we need to be clear about what we will and won’t allow from OURSELVES!
Here’s an example: Setting boundaries for our thinking. This has been a big one for me over the years. Unchecked, my mind can easily spiral out of control. I have had to create structure around my thoughts, directing them back to the positive and the curious, rather than letting them get pulled towards negativity and despair.
I regularly need to do what I call “taking out the trash,” and taking inventory of my “stinkin’ thinkin’.” After all, reality is created first in the mid, so our thoughts are our first line of defense in ensuring we’re creating what we desire, not what we fear.
Here’s a short audio where I talk about the importance of setting boundaries with ourselves.
Practice Makes… Progress
Setting healthy boundaries is a skill, something you likely won’t be completely adept at in the beginning (especially if you have years and years of training as a people-pleaser!).
Please be gentle with yourself and don’t expect to be fully graceful when you need to set boundaries with others (or yourself!).
You might hurt someone’s feelings.
You might give in when you want to say no.
You might not be able to offer all you used to because you’re taking care to manage your energy. That’s part of the process.
Move forward in faith, staying clear and awake. Your soul knows the difference between open-hearted generosity and codependent enmeshment. And when you strike the right balance, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful dance with All that Is.
P.S. Boundaries are something most of us will continue to work on throughout our physical life. As our relationships, spiritual connection, and maturity change, our boundaries will need to adjust as well.
If you are feeling overextended, hurt, or disconnected, your second energy may be out of balance. Take this free quiz to see where your energies are misaligned — and then receive some amazing supportive resources to restore harmony!