Allies for Holding to Your Boundaries

close up photo of notebook with pen

Boundaries are a rough subject for some.

In our modern time, it is completely normal and even encouraged to let people break your boundaries. We can also break our own boundaries in the service of someone we love or care about.
Whether it’s physical or emotional, it’s so important to our well-being.
I recently came upon a quote that said :

The things you complain about most often are teaching you where you need healthier boundaries.

Nedra Glover Tawwab

This really hit home for me.
Complaining is not always a bad thing; it’s a way to voice our frustrations and get them out of our bodies. But we can also use them to highlight where we need stronger boundaries. And that is really hard to confront!

We complain about jobs, relationships, bodies, financial situation. Sometimes it’s hard to dig out exactly what the boundary is but if we can look deeper, we can find the answer to what is bothering us.

Know you are not alone. We all have our boundaries crosses more often that we would like. Some people (like myself) are really bad at holding boundaries, for fear of letting someone down or not helping others enough. But that can quickly turn into emotional (and sometimes physical) disorders if we hold that stress in our bodies.

So here are some herbal and non-herbal suggestions to help you hold your boundaries and move through those heavy emotions:

white petaled flowers

Rose and Hawthorne are both known traditionally as “heart medicines”, physically and energetically. Think of the rose and her thorns. When you invade her space and grab her, she pricks you. She physically has a boundary to keep people from taking advantage of her. She is also a symbol of self love and peace, both of which we need when caring for ourselves.

food shrub garden winter

Hawthorn is part of the rose family so it carries those same qualities, with one extra bit- courage. Courage is needed when placing and holding boundaries. It can be easier to give in and be walked over or just submit, but we need the courage to stand strong and hold. Hawthorn strengthens the connection to our own heart, to listen to our own intuition and what we truly need.

Yarrow is known as a boundary ally because it grows on the sides on roads, often in gravely or parched soil. It is also known for stopping ,and inversely, starting different kinds of bleeding. It assists us in getting to where we need to be, whether it be flowing or stopping forward motion. Often we push aside our own boundaries to attain our goals or in the service of another. Yarrow reminds us that even in trying, undesirable conditions we can still grow and hold space for ourselves.

Outside of herbal allies, I find exercise assists in boundaries. We have all heard how exercise helps with stress release. I can personally attest to this. But aside from that, we can use exercise as a form of self care, making the time for ourselves without any expectation to be somewhere or something for someone else. It can be lifting weights, jogging, yoga, or even a simple walk. Taking that time to remind yourself how important you are is monumental to holding to your boundaries. It can also be great for your confidence, as you grow and see what your body can do, and having confidence in yourself will help you assert your boundaries with others.

Journaling is also helpful. Writing out your boundaries specifically can be reaffirming but also getting out your thoughts and frustrations with past breaches is cathartic, healing, and can help show you where you can be better in the future. I really like shadow work for this as well. Diving deep and really discovering the roots of your issues is extremely healing and helpful. I know from personal experiences that this can be very uncomfortable but once you find that root cause, the world opens up to you and you can make great changes to your life.

In the end, the choice is yours. I know it can be easier to give in and step over your boundaries. Sometimes it can feel needed. But please, listen to what your body is telling you. Unfortunately some of us have to learn this the hard way, and go through the trauma of completely ignoring our boundaries (usually because we care about someone) and end up a little more broken.

But we can heal.

We can grow.

We can learn from our past and hold firm in the future.

If you are interested in Shadow work, check out this Shadow Work Bundle!

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