If you have been reading along, you probably have a good level of understanding about the concept of boundaries may even know the answer to this question:

How do you develop boundaries?

(Remember Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz“? The answer is just as it was for her red slippers.)

You’ve always had them — You just need to use them!

You are a whole, complete individual. You have no missing pieces. The boundaries that will contain, sustain, and protect your-”self” have been available to you all the time. The fundamental task at hand is to reclaim them. Sometimes this is called setting your boundaries. First though, you have to own them before you can set them.
Healing the “wounded” parts of your self must happen. The issues from childhood require correction and re-recording. Without doing this deeper level of “RE – COVERING” work, your boundaries won’t be at full strength. Just as when you were a child, “bullies” (those you perceive, or give power to be in authority) will be able to overpower you.

Boundary-setting always takes one’s own needs into account and relies on honest and direct communication, (rather than manipulation and clairvoyance).

           As a child, you were a victim of those you loved.As an adult, you don’t have to be!

  1. When you claim your physical self, you will:
    protect, preserve, maintain & sustain it.
    (Physical Boundary)


  1. When you claim your feelings, you will:
    protect, preserve, maintain & sustain them.
    (Emotional Boundary)


  1. When you claim your thoughts you will:
    protect, preserve, maintain & sustain them.
    (Psychological Boundary)
Once on a healing journey, claiming and setting your boundaries will become almost second nature. You will reclaim the lost self and learn to love your – self.Loving yourself does not mean becoming a self-centered, narcissistic person who doesn’t care about anyone or anything besides themselves.

Loving yourself means you develop a sincere and realistic opinion of, love for, concern about, and acceptance of yourself. Everything you were supposed to have been given as a child!





Here’s a simple and effective exercise that can help

Stand in front of your bathroom mirror.
Look directly at the person you see.
Make eye contact.In a calm, easy tone,
(as if speaking to a young child)
say these words:


Don’t think the words,
say them, OUTLOUD,
so you can hear them.

Keep doing this at least once a day.
It may be difficult at first.
It may feel very uncomfortable. Try anyway.

Notice that your mind will think things like,
“this is silly”, “no you don’t”, or even worse.

Don’t let this stop you. Ignore the thoughts;
just say these precious words, and hear them.

A day will come. You’ll look in the mirror.
You’ll see yourself as you truly are, and say:


Your mind’s only thought will be: “Yes I do.”





“Ideally, detachment is releasing, or detaching from, a person or problem, in love.” 1

You don’t stop caring about others, You stop caring for them.

You start caring about and for your – “self”.

Detachment allows you to be you – not what others want or need you to be for them. You are a separate being; an individual. You are lovable, and you are truly unique. In all of recorded history, there never has been another person just like you. This is not something that is earned. It is something that JUST IS!

Detaching happens in the present and the past. Release from the past means forgiving others. In the present it means forgiving yourself as well as others. Forgiveness is not forgetting. It is choosing to not hold anything “against” someone. It is releasing the resentments that bind you in judgement.




Codependence recovery is a journey that you will travel along for a while. It will eventually merge with the bigger journey of life itself. Laughingly you will refer to yourself as a, “recovered” Codependent.

Learn and own what happened to you as a child and adolescent. Reclaim your-self and heal any wounds. Learn to cherish your child within. Claim and use your boundaries to maintain and sustain. Don’t attach to people, connect with them.

Love yourself — and others.

Be at Peace!






5 Characteristics of a
Good Boundary*

by Jane Bluestein, Ph.D.

Unlike rules (with punishments or negative consequences), boundaries are characterized by the following:


Boundaries are clear, specific and clearly communicated. They work best when you have the students’ attention, when they understands what you’re requesting, when the positive outcome of their cooperation is clear and when specific requirements, conditions or time factors are spelled out. For example, “I’ll read for the last 10 minutes of class as long as you’re quiet and your work is done.”


Boundaries respect and consider the needs of everyone involved. They attempt to create ways for both you and your students to get what you want. For example, “¥ou can take another library book home as soon as you return the ones you borrowed last week,” or “I want to hear about this problem. I’ll be free to give you my full attention as soon as I give the reading group their assignments.”


Boundaries work to prevent problems and are typically expressed before a problem occurs or before it is allowed to continue (or get worse). For example, “You can use this equipment as soon as you can demonstrate how to use it correctly.” “Let’s stay quiet in the hall so we don’t disturb any of the other classes.”


The most effective boundaries typically focus on the positive outcomes of cooperation. They are also expressed positively, as promises rather than threats or simply as information (with the implication that the positive outcome is available, for example, until a certain time or under certain conditions). For example, “If you do your homework 10 days in a row, you can have the 11’th day off (or do for extra credit),” or “The art center closes at 2:00.”

Follow through

Follow through—allowing a positive consequence to occur only when the child does what you’ve asked—is what communicates that you mean what you say and you say what you mean. It increases the likelihood that your students will take you seriously when you ask for what you want, and it improves the chances that they will cooperate as well (if it’s really the only way they can get what they want).**

*Boundaries are tools for building cooperation in relationships, for letting others know what you want and for letting them know which options are available to them (for getting what they want). Set boundaries when you want behaviors to change and wish to avoid negative, stressful behaviors such as nagging, yelling, threatening or punishing to get what you want. Whether you use boundaries in relationships with children or other adults, the characteristics of boundaries and dynamics of boundary setting are the same.

**Boundaries allow you to follow through without even getting angry! Follow through works wonders, but it requires patience, faith, consistency and courage!


  1. Gosh after reading it back again I thought it was somebody else at first. Thank you all for reading my long rant and for all the love and support. Was really crawling through the muck at the time of that writing.. denoted by the amount of finger pointing lol. It all comes out in the wash🙂 ❤


  2. Michelle Pete

    I just want to I really appreciate reading this article, I a fifty-five years of age I never learned what’s boundaries until I started searching the internet for solution to my problems.
    Thank you


  3. There’s tons of value in this post. Thank you for sharing this!

    I really needed to see this. I was raised in a narcissistic family full of manipulating, shaming and blaming. So concerned with perfection and vanity, it was all phony and self-serving.

    I joined the Marine Corps at 17 to prove to my family that I was man enough and good enough for the approval of my family. The military tends to build you into an even bigger narcissist so that didn’t “fix” the gaping hole in my soul. On my way out after a 10 year career, my boss that I was just a “number” and that I don’t owe them a thing. “Your easily replaced”, he says to me. Great, I didn’t feel bad about hanging it up and moving on. The Corps took good care of me. I wouldn’t give any of it back.

    In 2009, while I was in the Corps, I entered a codependent relationship with a woman. I was 25 years old at the time. She was slightly older than me and had 2 kids and was legally separated but still lived with her ex. After 2 weeks of dating, she started professing her love to me. I told her we had to stop talking. That week she tells me shes pregnant. During her pregnancy, I ignored her. I didn’t want to take responsibility, I didn’t know if it was mine or her ex’s. Several months later she miscarried and we continued seeing each after that. I built a strong codependent relationship with her. She lived 1.5 hours away and we saw each other almost every night. Eventually, again I wanted to stop the relationship because it wasn’t going anywhere beyond just sex and she was extremely needy and clingy. I felt the pressure on me so deep, I didn’t know how else to say no. I started drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels almost every night. I checked into alcohol rehab twice. Still, she refused to accept no as an answer and would show up uninvited. It was hard to resist; me being a man, I love sex and I wasn’t getting any at the time so why not keep on having sex. She bought me groceries with her food stamps and would cook/clean. I started to fall in love with her but it was really just my own neediness/emptiness talking. During this time, we were on and off being friends with benefits for 2 years. Didn’t work out.

    Here’s where it’s interesting; I did not think that I could get another girlfriend so I filled her head with all these fantasies of us being together and making a future out of it when in reality I wanted to make her even more attached so I had a back up plan. It was manipulative I know. I had no genuine self-respect or integrity and am ashamed of leading her along.

    Late 2012, when I got out of the Marines, I finally put an end to it. She still tries to contact me though email/birthday cards etc. but I ignore her attempts so she’ll get the message. She befriended my mom and uses triangulation tactics or hook me with drama (saving her from whatever dire straits shes in) to get me to react. My mom has no boundaries and won’t respect my wishes to stop talking to me about her. I was very angry at both of them for a while but now I’ve internalized and accepted that she’s just doing what she’s doing and have no control over it. I still think about her pretty often since she was my last relationship. Still very frightened of dating again.

    I don’t attend family holidays or social events. Trying to gather my strength and self-esteem. I’m paranoid because now everytime I talk to someone I think they’re manipulating me to further their agenda. I don’t accept favors or gifts from others because of impending drama (expectations, obligations etc.). It’s more empowering to just don’t ask anyone for shit and own myself.

    To this day, I’m struggling to set boundaries because everytime I get brow-beated I just lay down and take it; I feel that I deserve the punishment. Now I’m recovering though.

    This was a long post but I wanted to point out that most drama is rooted in not setting healthy boundaries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your perspective. I can see something like my exhusband’s perspective is eye opening for me. I can also see the reason for some of his behaviour reflected in your words. Again thank you and bravo for recognizing your role in the relationship.


    • William, I liked your Post.
      It was refreshing to hear your story that seemed so honest.
      It sounds like you have been doing a lot of reflection.


  1. Pingback: The Avatar of Dorian Gray | Art by Rob Goldstein

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