“So, it’s okay that I have boundaries. That I say no. That I speak up for what I want,” I said to my therapist.

“Not exactly,” she answered. “The truth is that boundaries are sacred.”

I was blown away.

“Everyone is not only entitled to them, but also needs them,” she continued. “They are what keep us healthy and actually what keep our relationships healthy.”

I was still stuck on “boundaries are sacred.”

Many of us were raised not to have boundaries. Not to know where we stopped and other people started. Not to feel safe or “allowed” to have needs or wants. Not to take up space or to say “no” to what doesn’t work for us and “yes” to what does. (This post is dedicated to my fellow Second Gens – those of us born and/or raised in an extremist group or situation – who may be as blown away by the concept of boundaries being sacred as I am.)

I felt as if the hugest truth had been shared with me when my therapist said that. Reflecting on it now, it makes total sense that you get to determine what’s good for and okay with you and I get to determine what’s good for and okay with me. (And sometimes those things will coordinate amazingly, and sometimes there’s a clash that we have to work through.)

I suppose this is developmentally correct to learn when you’re 2 or 3 or 4. Or maybe 10 or 11 or 12. I certainly didn’t. I had to wait until I’m nearly 60.

That’s okay. I’m playing with this concept now.

This doesn’t mean that I have to fight back when someone does something and I feel hurt. I’m also learning (more and more) that sometimes what’s best for me in those situations is to simply let it go and continue to love. For me, right now, it means I get to do my best to perhaps understand and definitely respect your boundaries, and I also get to do my best to figure out what mine are…and to hold to them.

This is how I love myself first, most, and always.

This is how I Love With All My Heart.

This is how I heal.

Because boundaries are sacred. Wow.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Children Nature Network on nappy

If you have been in ANY high control group or religion, share your story with the hashtag #IGotOut. Share on your own platform OR if you need to be anonymous and/or would like support, there are resources at the @igotout_org website.

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Together we can bring awareness to how many of us have been harmed by high control organizations and end the shame or stigma we might feel about our experiences.

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