New Beginnings with Kelly Kurtz-Johnson – The freedom of boundaries

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 I take every opportunity to talk, particularly with teenagers who are just starting to exert their independence, about the importance of setting healthy personal boundaries.  That’s not to say it’s something you determine as a teenager and then never evaluate or think about again.  Our ideas, thoughts, and beliefs can alter or change as we age, which can shift our boundaries.  Part of the process for women who’ve left an abusive relationship and are rebuilding themselves is to figure out what they will or will not accept in the next relationship, and recognizing the warning signs their boundaries are not being respected by another person. 

Why is it so important to set healthy personal boundaries?  They are the emotional, physical, and mental limits which protect us, and at the same time communicates to others we have self-respect, self-worth, and do not let others define us.  Boundaries protect us from being coerced, used, or violated by others, and when you stand firm to boundaries, you are taking personal responsibility for who you are.  When people have healthy personal boundaries, it helps them navigate situations when they arise, helps maintain a positive self-image, as well as recognizing we are all distinct individuals with unique emotions, needs, and preferences.

 So, how do you establish these boundaries?  First, know you have the right to them, and take responsibility for how you allow others to treat you.  Second, you have to recognize the needs and feelings of others are not more important than your own. You have just as much right to happiness as they do.  Third, be selfish from time to time – it’s ok to say ‘no’ because it will help no one if you please others at your own expense.  Fourth, identify behaviours and actions you will accept from others, and those you see as unacceptable.  Last, it’s so important to believe in yourself, because only you know what is best for you. You know what you need, want, and value in life.

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A big part of personal boundaries is about using honest communication to talk about boundaries with others. In a relationship, it’s about setting the rules and guidelines for what each person expects, and not wavering. This applies to not just intimate relationships, but all relationships in your life. No relationship should demand you spend all your time with just them, or to sacrifice your beliefs.  Some signs you’ve lost sight of your boundaries are feeling bad or guilty when you say no, letting others define you, and not speaking up when you are treated badly.

It’s been noted people who have healthy personal boundaries are better communicators, have more fulfilling relationships, improved self-confidence, and tend to lead more stable lives.  All of which we all deserve! 

 “Chase The Ace” is happening again!!  The Jackpot is $2592.5 & 50 Cards left in the deck!  Join us Wednesday 7-9 p.m. at Dooly’s St. Stephen.  The draw takes place at 9:15 p.m. with 15 minutes for the winning ticket to come forward.   Funds raised from this game will be put towards our new project for a ‘Second Stage’ apartment complex.  We appreciate your continued support of us and look forward to seeing you out!  Watch our Facebook Page ‘Chase The Ace St. Stephen’, the sign at Mayfield Greenhouse, and this article.  For further information call 466-4590.    

If you want to start a new beginning and think we may be able to help, remember…Fundy Region Transition House, Inc. offers a safe haven for women with/without children who experience abuse. Staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer assistance at 466-4485.  We also offer outreach services for additional support in the community at 469-5544.  Our email address is frth@nb.aibn.com, and our website is www.FundyRegionTransitionHouse.com.  We are also on Facebook, check us out. Outreach service offers a Women’s Circle Support group on Wednesdays at 10:30a.m. at the St. George Baptist Church and Thursday at 7p.m. at the Kirk McCall Church.  For more information,  call 469-5544.