I am practicing balance and boundaries to maintain the sacredness of my being.

This is an affirmation that came to visit me earlier in the week while tending to my morning rituals, astute and attentive to the ancestral elders that journey with me.

This great cloud of witnesses, which came before me, committed to being despite the consequences that companioned with the dark hues of their skin.

I often wonder what my life would be if my ancestors had the privilege of practicing balance and boundaries.

What additional generational healing tools would have been passed down? What familial traumas could have been avoided? Which childhood wounds would have been disrupted?

What family secrets would have never formed because a roadmap of good character and integrity was carved out in the foundation of honoring the boundaries of others and their own?

Boundaries are established to safeguard the individual in the midst of others and to preserve others in the midst of the individual.

Boundaries are both internal and external, shifting and evolving, relative to context and relationship. Boundaries function to cultivate safety and comfort, not to be fortified as walls that arrest the organic process of relationship building.

Most, if not all, humans have learned how to manage and negotiate boundaries through our families of origin, caregivers or religious systems.

Many of us have been modeled a boundaryless life, where the level of one’s martyrdom equates to their commitment of service to others. In essence, the more exhausted we are, the more explicit our dedication is to external commitments.

This life is antithetical to the life, and life more abundantly, Jesus speaks of in the Gospel of John (10:10). The good news for those of us who historically bore witness to parents, caregivers or community members who lacked balance is that we get an opportunity to make more life-giving choices.

In this season, many of us are on the precipice of transformative life transitions which are inviting us to disrupt our normal routines, release prior commitments, abandon what we thought we knew and, most importantly, strengthen our boundaries.

Our “mental wealth” and fortitude are sustained when the appropriate boundaries for our living are set. In this way, we promote a balanced life that is constantly making room for release, rebirth, abundance and expansion.

I know the mere thought of change can be anxiety-producing for some and stimulate a daunting depressive mood for others.

This is only because so many of us think of boundaries as being attached to what we may lose, as opposed to what we may gain by releasing something or someone that has run its course and no longer serves our highest good.

There are others of us who associate creating healthy boundaries with the offense it may arouse in others. Your boundary is about your courageous love of self, which at times will disrupt the comfort of others.

Beloved, you were not created to appease, you were created to align with the best version of you!

Who or what in your life doesn’t need as much access as you have been giving? Who or what in your life has reached the expiration date of sharing in your presence?

What responsibilities do you need to delegate? Who do you need to hold more accountable? What holy “no’s” do you need to give so you can offer a sacred yes to the altar of your becoming?

The abundance of living lies in your ability to balance work and play, being and producing, self-care and community care, pleasure and pain, pausing and pacing, and surrender and resistance as you navigate the mountain-top and valley experiences of existing.

We practice balance and boundaries to maintain the sacredness of our being.

Your sacredness is worth a “no.” Your sacredness is worth making others uncomfortable because you are prioritizing your holistic wellness.

Your sacredness is worth exiting toxic relationships and environments. Your sacredness is worth releasing yourself from people, places and things that disregard your value.

Say it with me, “I am practicing balance and boundaries to maintain the sacredness of my being.”

Now go live life and life more abundantly!

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series this week calling attention to May as Mental Health Awareness Month. The previous article in the series is:

Jumping Through ‘Hoops’ for Mental Health Services Must End | Monty Self

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