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  • Matthew Frank
    Matthew Frank

    Embracing Boundaries: Visualizing Protection & Connection

    We can’t force the world to stay out of our lives, but we can make sure that we feel safe and respected in it. Many things in life can seem confusing and disorienting from time to time, but boundaries play a crucial role in helping us understand our own needs and how best to honor them. They act like sturdy fortified walls that protect us from emotionally disruptive people, while simultaneously keeping us from crossing into behaviours which could potentially hurt others. It's essential that we become properly acquainted with our own guidelines which govern behaviour and for this reason, implementing a visualization exercise can be an effective tool in learning to live consciously with both strength and flexibility.

    Visualization is a conscious yet relaxing form of meditation that allows us to create a “mind movie” of sorts, where we depict scenes to help manifest our intentions. Think of it as doodling out your desires for yourself on a personal canvas. In regards to boundaries, we can use this method to gain clarity on what is termed as the line between ourselves (our values, emotions, desires and thoughts) and the outside world. We construct a mental landscape that serves to remind us exactly what we’re working towards, as well as how we're striving to protect ourselves and behave compassionately to others.

    The key here is to remember that boundaries are not structures built merely to distance ourselves from other people but rather can also be powerful invitations which grant access to our inner circle of support. Being able to willing connect and to safely form equitable relationships is an important part of being human and therefore we must enjoy our existing borders, not shrink back in fear of them.

    One helpful way to jumpstart your visualization exercise is to come up with a set of questions designed to locate a sense of inspiration while exploring what limits would best suit you. Is there anything I need to protect myself from? Are there times when I need to take extra care with my reactions towards people? How do I tap into my inner strength when feeling overwhelmed? What emotional parameters can I adopt that would honor both myself and those around me? Ask yourself these in order to draw out your ideal boundary lines and create a relevant image in your mind.

    The benefits of having strong, thoughtful boundaries in place far outweigh the difficulty of forming them in the first place. Sure, at first it may appear daunting to pinpoint exactly what works for you, but aligning yourself with what you believe in and tapping into your own self-confidence can be immensely rewarding. Whether it be intentionally creating clouds which indicate your right to say 'No', a star to signify your shining light of hope, or a strong metal gate creating a boundary to ensure emotions and words remain separate, employing visualization as a tool to learn more intimately how to build and use our boundaries can open us up to a world of self-awareness and peace.

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