#43: Are You Setting Boundaries or Building Walls?
Set healthy boundaries.
That's one of the mainstream pieces of advice in the self-help world today. We have to leave room for us to breathe, a protective space around us to look out for ourselves, and a safety measure to make sure we're not overextending ourselves in the process of helping or supporting someone else.
Pretty sound idea, right? We can't help others if we don't help ourselves first. We can't fill someone else's cup if ours is empty.
Firefly Lane is one of the many shows close to my heart. It's about two best friends and the story of how their friendship blossomed and burned out—and hopefully, how they'll rebuild it too (if ever there's a third season). Throughout the show, I've seen the two characters—Tully and Kate—show up for each other in their friendship.
Kate sacrificed her job to make sure Tully doesn't lose her dream career. Tully, while facing financial problems of her own and a costly lawsuit, spent her money renting a private jet to fly Kate to Germany because her husband got injured covering the war in Iraq. And this happened with the little things too—one would reschedule a date to comfort a best friend in distress, one would miss her own photo shoot to help the other prepare for a stressful trip—they'd always find a way to cover for each other and support one another.
While watching, I realized how I haven't had a friendship—or any relationship for that matter—so strong that I'd willingly lose my natural tendency for self-preservation.
And I'd say it's all in the name of setting healthy boundaries, of making sure I'm not betraying myself or burning myself to keep others warm.
It made me wonder how boundaries don't just keep others from intruding our space and wreaking havoc. It also blocks us—like thick walls—from forming deeper connections with the people around us.
Sure, that's safer.
But a huge part of us would only feel true meaning, purpose, and aliveness when we learn how to go beyond our selfish motivations and look out for someone else—even just one soul—other than ourselves.
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Hi, and thanks for reading! I'm Kishly, a cheerleader of creatives and copywriter turned marketing strategist. Bookmark this blog to read my daily atomic essays on marketing, compassionate productivity, creative living, and lifelong learning. Or subscribe to Process, my weekly-ish newsletter for young adults (and the young at heart) in pursuit of wisdom and wonder. ✨