Just about everything on this planet needs to be protected, because if this doesn’t take place, it will begin to erode or end up simply being destroyed. This is true for a car, the ocean, forests and houses for instance.
These things will need to be protected by humans, from humans and from nature itself. But when it comes to human beings, they do have the option of protecting themselves. At times they might need the assistance of another or others, but generally it will be down to them.
Unless this is baby or a small child and then it will be up to their parents or caregivers to look after them. At this age, they won’t have boundaries and will need others to stand up for them and to look out for their best interests.
So boundaries are incredibly important and without them, there is going to be the potential for one to feel extremely vulnerable to anything and everything. On one side, there are people out there who could do a lot of damage to someone.
And on the other, there are people who are not necessarily malicious in their intent, but if one doesn’t stand their ground, they will end up being compromised in some way. In these cases, it might involve one saying no or speaking up.
Not only will one have to protect their physical body, they will also need to protect their emotional body, their mind and even what they choose to believe about life itself. This will relate to their spiritual nature or if they are religious.
The need to protect ones physical body will often stand out the most and this is because it is highly visible. When it comes to ones emotional body, it can be easy to ignore the need for boundaries here; especially is one is out of touch with their emotions.
Intellectual boundaries are also similar, as people are rarely taught to questions what they believe or disbelieve; so one might not even consider the need to have them.
And when it relates to the area of what one believes about life and the universe, one might have been brought up around people or in a society that had a certain outlook. It is then something that they just go along with; regardless of it is truly fits them or not.
When boundaries are missing in each of these four areas, one is going to have to do use others means as a way to protect themselves. This will generally happen unconsciously and won’t be something they consciously think about doing.
And although they might change how they behave, in most cases they will have a pattern of being a certain way. This can change depending on the context though.
Although physical and emotional boundaries are different, they are also the same in some ways. For example, if someone gets to close to them, they will go into their personal space and one will ‘feel’ that they have been violated or compromised.
However, this generally relates to others getting to close to someone and touching them when or where it is not appropriate. So when one experiences this challenge on a regular basis, they are going to chose one of two options.
They could both build walls around them and therefore isolate themselves from others. In this case they would be retreating and this would be a more feminine approach. Or they could go the other way and go into other people’s personal space. This would be an attack and a more masculine way of doing things.
To feel emotional wide open is going to make one feel vulnerable when they are in certain situations or as a way of life. And this could be due to other people getting to close to them and compromising their physical boundaries, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
As other people could just say something, act in a certain way or just look at them and this could be enough to make them feel unsafe. Or one might just feel unsafe no matter what is going on externally. In this case, one could retract from others and hide.
What is also likely to happen is that one will become either anxious or angry. If they retract and don’t feel safe in any way, then anxiety is what they will become familiar with. And if they go towards others and feel reasonably safe, they will come across as angry.
This could also cause someone to armour their body by gaining weight or muscle or one could end up staying slim and find it hard to gain weight. Whatever their body does will be the result of what feels safe.
Through the arrival of the internet, a lot of information is available, and this means that one needs to monitor what they let in and what they don’t. But when one doesn’t have a strong filter here and the ability to let in information and to stop information from coming in, they are going to have two choices.
Either they will block out all information and not let anything enter their mind or they will try and force what they know onto other people. This is done to stop others from telling them anything and it protects their intellectual instability.
This is something that can include the intellectual, emotional and the physical. As what one believes about life and the universe is likely to be a combination of thought, emotion and sensation.
So when one doesn’t feel comfortable in this area of their life, they could end up covering up and hiding this part of themselves. Or they could become a preacher and someone who tells other people what they should or shouldn’t believe. With them acting as if they have a direct connection to the universe or god and they are the only ones actually who know.
The ideal is for one to have strong and healthy boundaries in each of these areas. And this will enable them to experience closer connections to others, intimacy and to allow new information into their life for instance.
And while each of these areas can seem separate, they all have an emotional component. This is because we are emotional beings and when one feels emotionally whole and centred, the other areas will follow suit.
If one has boundaries problems, there is a high chance that they have trapped emotions in their body. If this is the case, these will need to be faced and released. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
Another option would be for one to read up on this area and to find out what it means to have boundaries. One could also look for people who have them and then model their behaviour.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.