There is this notion of 'boundary issues' that comes up sometimes. The idea of 'boundaries' is somewhat ethereal and abstract; It may be easy to conceptualize, but it's not easy to have a grounded understanding of it in the body. I'll attempt to explain that from an energetic (and psychological) standpoint, there's a huge difference between boundaries and defenses, and I'll share some ways to work with it.
I studied human development in college while training to become an educator, and that field of study happens to be super relevant to a lot of therapy and self-help practices, especially inner child work, shadow work, and psychoanalysis in general. I know that we develop trust and self-worth patterns in our infancy stage of development (birth to age two). I bring this up because trust and self-worth are essential in our relationship to boundaries. It's fairly straight-forward: If we didn't have all of our emotional or physical needs met in infancy, we may not have developed healthy trust structures. Perhaps we learned that our needs would not be met UNLESS, and we began to develop some self-worth issues as well. It's also possible to develop issues later in life, especially through PTSD and certain nervous system responses, say from intense grief or violence, etc. But generally, our trust structures (boundaries) were developed in infancy. Generally children are very resilient, but they also are fragile in the sense that they are so malleable and not fully developed. When they experience trauma, they are more likely to crack in their energy body than an adult would be, and their development is molded differently.
Boundaries relate to how we give and receive in our relationships with anything. A whole cascade of other issues can spin out from this one concept of boundaries, like our feelings about money and food, fear and survival instincts, but I'll try to stay on point. At a basic energetic level, boundaries refer to one's energy field, which could be seen as a bubble with a skin around it, and it has a generative source essence associated with it. If there are boundary issues, there are holes in the energy field (either literally as a tear in the luminous energy body, or metaphorically as trying to fill an unmet need through inappropriate actions). We may be giving too much, or taking too much, and this is an imbalance that can be corrected with practice.
For most people reading my blog, I would guess the issue is giving too much, or leaking energy at a slow drip, or several slow drips. This causes exhaustion, despondency, resentment, all sorts of reactions. Healing your boundaries simply requires closing up the holes and leaks. I'll explain that later. If you don't do it on your own, the universe will likely send you someone who will sense your holes and eagerly exploit your energy as a source of fuel. This exploitation usually makes for some serious defense mechanisms to be constructed as backlash, and is the natural process of the nervous system on burn-out mode.
Defenses are not our natural-born boundaries. They are constructs that have been developed from a sense of fear. Where healthy boundaries could be seen as a gentle bubble of light, defenses can be seen as fortified walls and armor. I see them as overcompensations. They may be necessary in certain traumatic situations, (they are natural nervous system responses in many cases), but they are not necessary to maintain at a chronic level. They come from fear and therefore indicate that the person who is using them is in a state of fear and distress, and energetically destabilized, or is maintaining old structures even though the perceived danger has passed. A healthy state of being includes healthy boundaries and minimal defenses, in my opinion.
Coming back into balance and creating healthy boundaries would first require removing the defenses that have been built up over time. If a person wanted to have a deep connection with another person, their boundaries would have to be healthy to establish a secure bond. Unhealthy boundaries create codependent bonds and toxic relationships. Having heavy defense mechanisms creates insecure bonds, or an inability to develop true intimacy. If a person truly wants a stable, healthy relationship, these issues, each and every one, must be addressed. 'There is no short-cut', 'the only way out is through', etc. Having healthy boundaries also makes it easier to notice if other people we may be in relationship to have healthy boundaries themselves, and can help us make healthier choices when it comes to choosing friends, business partners, and intimate partners.
So how do we address these issues and how does it relate to how we source energy in the first place?
It is one thing to sit in talk therapy and unpack all your childhood experiences. It is quite another thing to actually undergo a transformational process with this material. This is where talk therapy often falls short, and why people sit in therapy for decades with minimal progress. It's not juicy enough. Gathering the information itself is the first step, (where and when did our issues arise), but the juice is in processing the emotions and turning the weaknesses into strengths (shadow work). Feeling the repressed feelings fully, honoring them and letting them go, and creating new methods of responding to emotional triggers and situations is generally what is required to 'heal' the issues. Finding a sense of self-worth again creates an inner peace that is hard to shake. This work will minimize reactions and allow for healthy and conscious responses instead. I repeatedly recommend the Inner Child Workbook by Cathryne Taylor, The Grief Recovery Method, PTSD and trauma recovery, and/or working with dreams as a few examples. It also helps to have some sort of ritual or ceremony: Once the shadow aspects of ourselves have been identified, they are then integrated into our psyche and claimed as strengths. (The shadow aspect of being a 'bitch' and hiding it under a mask of being inauthentically nice can be transformed and reclaimed as the strength of being able to speak up for oneself and maintain proper boundaries, for example). Once the shadow aspect is reclaimed, it can be nice to have an object or ceremony or something to solidify the process. Perhaps creating a medicine bundle, dedicating an amulet, or even getting a tattoo, making a personal symbol...something to commemorate the progress. It is worth celebrating, and serves to anchor the transformation into physicality, which is the final important piece of all transformative work.
My writing would not be complete without addressing the woo aspects of this work, the energetic stuff, so here it is. If defenses are erected as response to boundaries being crossed, it is possible the boundaries were not there in the first place. Maybe they were, but maybe they weren't. When I sit in meditations or ceremonies, sometimes I can perceive an outside energy in my field of perception. By studying and practicing energy work, I have developed a good sense of what is 'my' energy, and what is not. It used to be that I would panic if I sensed someone else in my field, something uninvited, (psychic attack!). I would go into defense mode. 'I better make a wall of gold around me' or something of that nature. When I tried channeling a few years back, I was actually inviting in things that did not have my best interest in mind. I wasn't ready for that kind of work because my boundaries were not so good. I could't determine if something was healthy for me or not, because I over-trusted. I over-gave. I over extended my personal energy all the time because I thought it defined my worth and identity as a person. I was wrong, and I still had a lot of self-worth work to do. I paid for that in many ways, and often found a security breach in my system. When energetic security breaches happened though, I was able to see where I had a hole, a leak, or a weakness. I found that after all the panic and defense building, the only thing that actually healed anything was to relax, trust in myself, and open my heart. Not close my heart, but expand it as wide as I could. From there I knew I was safe, I was powerful, and I was in my essence. Nothing could penetrate that, and there was nothing more to fear. It all dissolved. Even when I am literally being psychically attacked, in the end, it is gratitude, compassion, and love that raise the vibration around me and offer true sanctuary. It's the only 'real' protection. It was through those life experiences that I could fully realize my boundary issues. So it goes! I am grateful for my adversaries.
The main thing I've learned is that we all have a source energy. I started learning about and using my source energy in grounding exercises way back when. I could visualize it and feel it, and bring it into my body energetically, but I didn't have a fully developed relationship with it until recently. I believe that a lot of people are literally blocked from their source energy. Defenses are essentially blockages to energy flow. They shut down the heart. A highly defensive person is likely very low on energy, and is likely to 'vampire' off other people's energy to stay afloat. I see 'energy vampires' as very wounded and defensive creatures who are simply in survival mode, perhaps harboring lots of unhealed PTSD as well. We don't want to enable that because it isn't in balance, it's not in right relationship, it's not organic. So we release what blockages hinder access to our source energy, we heal the holes in our energy fields, and we begin to access the nectar of life. I now recognize my source energy not just as some out-there energy source from the universe, but as my own personal essence. It is my own essence that I source from. It is my own energetic signature that fills me with the most energy. Yes my personal source is coming from larger sources, you could think of it as our earth-mother source, our solar source, our galactic mother source, and on up into higher universal levels, but it becomes harder to grasp the higher up you go. So I recommend getting familiar with your own individual essence. Find a way to access it effortlessly. It is where your soul meets your physical body. I use my mesa, my medicine bundle, but I also use my own heart. It's whatever works for you and helps you connect to it. Make sure to read your own essence energy carefully so you can recognize it easily, and that will help you understand what 'other' energy is like too. It will help you build the skill of reading energy with greater discernment, and it will also help you to feel connected to all things in the universe. To me that is love, the connection we have to everything, the non-separation. Loving you!
Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a quantum and shamanic practitioner and energy worker, an herbalist, and an educator. My current spiritual hobbies include exploring interdimensional realms, planetary gridwork/lightwork, ceremony work, sound technologies, and shadow integration. I identify as empath, high-sensitive, and starseed. My mission is to serve spiritual evolution through love, and the reclamation of spiritual sovereignty.