Thoughts are People Too

One of the toughest things about growing up is figuring out where you end and the outside world begins and vice versa. Not only is it difficult to manage your ever expanding social landscape, but it is also difficult to manage one’s own internal dialog about who you are and how you fit in the world, especially given today’s technology and connectivity. If we look at it in a different light, we need not only establish boundaries with negative people, but we also need to establish boundaries with our own negative thoughts.

Boundaries clarify and solidify our identity. Establishing boundaries with people allows US to focus on OUR own thoughts, valuations and goals. The establishment of boundaries also creates confidence in OUR own mind because doing so makes it easier to discern when it is appropriate to follow someone else’s advice instead of our own.

Just as a person can intrude on our space, so can our own thoughts. Developing a value scale to segregate thoughts that are helpful over thoughts that are hurtful is important. This kind of prioritization makes it easier to establish firm yet movable boundaries as people and thoughts do change over time. Burning bridges to thoughts or people can often blind us to them never having been experienced.

Regularly maintaining healthy boundaries helps us handle our daily issues with as much kindness and openness as the circumstance requires. Kindness can help you recognize that patterns can be comforting and negotiated with, whereas unbridled anger can start an all out civil war of mental self-abuse where thoughts wage an unending battle of chaos. This is the importance of evaluating which thought patterns are helpful and positive versus which patterns are subversive and negative.

Taking some quiet time out of our day to establish boundaries with our own thoughts is as important as establishing boundaries with those you love and those you might have just met. The earlier we learn to establish boundaries, the easier it will be to maintain and renovate those boundaries as we grow older for the benefit of ourselves and others around us. Because thoughts are people too.

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