Healthy Boundaries and Connection

It's the beginning of Thanksgiving week here in the United States. While I know we have many here with us that aren't in the United States, I hope that this email still finds you and serves you well as the concepts are transferable to other times.

We are still getting hammered by COVID, seeking connection, and struggling with setting boundaries.

You might be setting FINE boundaries, but many are still struggling with how much connection is too much, while others are really hurting, and needing connection.

This is the time of year when we tend to celebrate the beginning of the "official" holiday season and it's been such a heartbreak for many to not spend it with family. Even in my own family we've had members not happy that we won't be doing our traditional gathering and have limited it to only a few in our inner circle, for us and for them.

As a result, they have gotten angry. In the past, I would have let this bother me. I would have let my old pattern of POOR boundaries creep in, giving in and giving up. Instead I've been using the phrase, "I know this is hard on everyone, and I'm still not willing to take the risk."

See, this is because people make MEANING from what we say. When I say "NO, I can't see you" people hear, "You're infected, or I think you are.. or I think you're not being careful enough." And this creates even more disconnection than before. This is NOT the intention.

This may come up with your family too. What is the intention behind their words? What meaning are YOU making of it? Is it helpful and productive? Or harmful and destructive?

This is NOT a blame game. This is NOT about who has the better masks, situation, etc.This is just about doing the BEST that we can with what we have.

Just last week, I spoke with a client (58) whose younger cousin is in her early 40s with no previous health conditions fighting for her life. This isn't my story. This may not be your story, or a story of a family member of yours. But, it's someone's story. And, in my mind, I don't want it to be my story. So, I'm going to do the best I can with what I have to keep myself away from others and to keep my family safe. This doesn't mean I'm judging you for your decisions. This just means I'm doing what I can for me and my family.

Additionally, I don't know if I'm a carrier or not. I could be totally asymptomatic. So me setting my boundaries is me doing what's best for me and you.

And.. I firmly believe that if you stay home or if you decide to attend a 10 person gathering - that whatever you decide, you'll be deciding it from a place of doing the best you can with what you have at that time. Period.

Right now we are calling on ourselves and each other to make EMPOWERED decisions for what's best for our own.

This is why setting boundaries and sticking with them are so essential.

On the flip side however, we THRIVE on connection and are struggling with being more disconnected than ever. We need each other. We need support. We need to give and receive love, friendship, fellowship, etc. And, this is missing right now.

Does that mean we drop our boundaries? Or does it mean we still hold firm and find another way to connect?

Whatever you decide is best for you - remember you are doing the best you can with what you have right now.

This situation is also calling on us to do things differently and put ourselves out there in new ways. It's calling on us to ask for what we need, use our voice, and speak up. This is because in person people could tell you weren't doing so well, and now we don't have that. So you are now required to speak up for yourself and say "I need help. I need support." rather than to wait for someone to see the struggling in your face.

This is also a time people tend to ISOLATE. Shame, darkness, and emotional eating all happen in secret, in the shadows, and when people ISOLATE. It's important that you stay connected with us, with your family, with others so that you don't fall through the cracks.

As a reminder you can ALWAYS post in Bariatric Mindset Mavens!! That's what we do.

How can you connect to your loved ones in a healthy productive way?
How can you connect to gain support and love in NEW ways?
How can you get YOUR NEEDS MET while also staying safe?
How can you ASK for the help you need and feel good about it?

Sending you love and light this very difficult holiday season.

We are here to guide and support you through!