When Setting Boundaries Is Not Self-Care

a girl's hands are uplifted in prayer.


“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  ~ Rumi

We all build walls around our hearts.

Usually, we’re not even aware of it — we’re just trying to protect some part of our being that feels like it could use a break.

Sometimes we call this “setting boundaries.” Sometimes we even think of it as self-care (note: for a true self-care technique, see below).

But I have to side with Rumi here. While the heart does need a bandage from time to time, when that hardens into stone, we no longer have protection — we have a problem.

Often what we think is protecting us is, in reality, just blocking something beautiful. (click to share)

Just let that sink in.

Take a deep breath and think about a “protective” wall you maintain. Is it doing its job? If not, could you save some of your precious energy reserves by bringing it down?

Yeah, me too.

♥ SUPER-EASY SELF-CARE ♥   

If you’re interested, here is a technique to try when you feel your heart start hardening:

  • Breathe.
  • Once you feel yourself you’re stacking up stones around your heart, practice mindful awareness and visualize. See their weight, their gray surface, their edges.
  • Stop, and be still with them. Resist the temptation to protect, to judge.
  • Keep breathing.
  • Slowly see each stone turning to sand, collecting softly at your feet, as you stand (or sit) with a tall spine, relaxed shoulders and a gentle, strong, steady heartbeat.
  • Let yourself rest in the safety of the new space you’ve created inside your body.
  • Yep, breathe.

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