In American mainstream culture, we give a lot of attention to love and not much attention to how to love and keep our boundaries at the same time. We learn about boundaries in relationships first from watching our parents and caregivers relationships. Eventually, we learn from our friends, the media, and experiences in dating relationships. We grow into adulthood feeling pushed or pulled in different directions, oftentimes not knowing when to be drawn in and when or how to create healthy boundaries - not knowing where the sweet spot is or how to get in it.
Often times, we avoid talking about healthy boundaries in relationships or we talk about them in terms of what "not to do". Many of the people I coach tell me that they were not aware of the unhealthy boundaries in their lives, they just knew something feels "off" and is causing pain and discord in their relationships.
What were you taught about how to care for and love yourself and love others?
Some of us are taught to become the martyr and self-sacrifice, which some religions teach is love. Or maybe you were taught to put up walls when feeling vulnerable or to behave in ways that cross boundaries and become enmeshed with others? Many of us learned unhealthy behaviors related to love and much of what we do is codependency, not love.
Over-involvement and enmeshment means that we ignore our needs and wants, and live in the stress of over-involvement with the circumstances and emotions of others. The opposite end of the spectrum is when we put up walls to avoid feeling anything - this is very common and creates a disconnection, loneliness and unmotivated feelings.
So how do we find the moderate, joyful, Love Space? Where and how do we find the Love Space where we can live healthy boundaries, where we are authentically connected to ourselves and others?
We begin to find and move towards the Love Space by first exploring where we are starting from. Secondly, we explore and become aware of our behavior and how it shapes our experience of Love.
Look at the illustration below and start to think about what you were taught about how to Love yourself and others.
In the month of January and February, I am offering a 3-month, Wellness Program package to explore ways in which you can find that Love Space, and how to move away from codependency and towards the authentic experience of Love. Schedule your appointment now.