setting healthy boundaries
Often, getting attached to something or someone means that we have failed to create and maintain healthy boundaries for ourselves. As an act of self-deception, we delay forming boundaries around our behaviors. We think boundaries mean sacrificing and giving up our freedom. We fantasize discipline but at the same time, it means we will need to let go of our previous aberrant behaviors. This is hard. Although it sounds paradoxical, setting healthy boundaries is a key to freedom.
Sometimes, even with multiple attempts, we fail at changing our patterns. We get frustrated at trying to bring about positive change in our lives. We are not yet convinced to our core that our attachments and addictions are not actually comforting and soothing or pacifying us, but are mere sources of pain and suffering. In those times, in order to restore balance in the long run, we need to take some extreme actions. As the popular adage goes: “Desperate times, desperate measures.”
Before we take any action, we need to seek alignment first by making a list of positive aspects of letting go of an attachment or addiction. For instance, if you are wanting to quit smoking, then write down all the positive aspects of committing to it. As you refer to these positive aspects on a daily basis, your next step is to take extreme actions and let go of the addiction cold turkey.
If you can’t resist chocolate or ice cream, don’t bring them in your house. Guard the doors of your home and become a gatekeeper. Zero in on your temptations and stay away from them. Have a window of commitment, maybe 30 days, 90 days or as long as you can. We need time for the power within us to heal us and rewire our brains.
Make your body, your home and personal space a fortress. Even if it aches and is not easy, and even if divorcing yourself from food, drugs, alcohol, porn, or a toxic friendship or relationship causes immense pain and unimaginable withdrawal symptoms, you need to know that this is an important step you need to take. The pain and suffering is temporary and a one-time price that you need to pay in order to restore your sanity and reclaim your power.
We need to understand, first and foremost, that we are setting these boundaries not only for bettering ourselves, but also for bettering the lives of the people around us.
PS: If you or someone close to you is having a tough time battling an addiction or a toxic attachment, I’d encourage you to get my book The Detachment Manifesto. This book will guide you step-by-step on the journey that you or your loved one need to take from a life of imprisonment to a life of freedom.