Diving Deep into Mental, Emotional, Relational, and Personal Boundaries

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“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.”  — Dr. Henry Cloud

During the final week of September, for the fourth consecutive year, HPA hosted a weekend long intensive (retreat). Over the years, our topics have been diverse — digging into trust, friendship, and endings. This year we focused on boundaries.

With each retreat, the team becomes more and more efficient — and learning how to balance content and fun is always part of the experience. These retreats have given women specifically the opportunity to show up as female and to just embrace the human side of themselves.

Here are some specific takeaways from our introduction of boundaries and surrounding each of the four specific subjects discussed:


  1. Healthy boundaries give us a strong back and a soft front.
  2. Healthy boundaries help us resist temptation.
  3. Healthy boundaries are never walls; they are fences that let the good in and keep the bad out.


Mental Boundaries:

  1. Our brains can be remolded.
  2. We are not stuck in our old ways of thinking; we can create new neurological pathways.
  3. Practice doesn’t make perfect; it makes permanent.


Emotional Boundaries:

  1. Unhealthy emotional habits include codependency, enmeshment, and mirroring.
  2. We can learn to “hijack” our brains to help calm our emotions.
  3. We get the opportunity to invite people on our emotional “mat.”


Relational Boundaries:

  1. Healthy relationships don’t feel threatening.
  2. Loving relationships don’t feel cruel.
  3. Secure relationships don’t feel like everything could implode if you dared to draw a boundary.


Boundaries with Ourselves:

  1. Knowledge = Information necessary for wisdom.
  2. Discernment = Being able to process that information properly.
  3. Consideration = Thinking about how actions will affect other people.
  4. Application = Following through on doing the right thing.


In the end, learning healthy boundaries feels like a cycle. It is learning, practicing, failing, and then, learning, practicing, succeeding.

Boundaries are not just about saying “yes” or “no” to something. Boundaries are about being authentic and in tune with your own needs (see last month’s newsletter where we discussed needs).

Need help with your Boundaries? Give us a call. Let’s begin to help you define what healthy boundaries look like.

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