When we think about setting a new bottom line we think about it in context of having a ‘discussion’ with someone.  We are “drawing a line in the sand”, “taking a stand”, or clarifying our boundaries, perhaps for the first time.  It’s usually because we feel that they’ve been violated by someone and we need for that to stop.  Which is great.  Clear boundaries communicated openly and without razor sharp edges make for fertile ground in which to grow great relationships.  But what about our boundaries with ourselves?

Boundaries concerning people, situations, things outside ourselves keep us healthy.  Like the adage says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  I like to think that good boundaries cut out the dramatic crap, but the other phrase is a bit more elegant.  🙂  Boundaries inside ourselves delineate internal space just as much as they divide what is outside from what is in.  Boundaries create structure, stability, and form.  They say just as much about what is allowed as what is not.  They point out to us the extreme edges of what is possible: where joy resides on one side, where despair is on the other, and what resides in the middle, where average comes into play.

So what happens if our boundaries are too inclusive?  What if our boundaries include destructive relationships, constant catastrophes, personal drama, always being the one to give, living in lack, and hopefully one day being happy?  What if our boundaries exclude joy, find moments of happiness to be the far edge of our reality, and that everything should be a struggle?  Well, if those are the boundaries, if that’s the Venn diagram of life, then that’s all we have to work with and so that’s what we build our lives around.  But boundaries aren’t permanent.  Boundaries can shift and change as we need them to and we have the ability to make that happen.  Just as we can set new boundaries with other people, we can reset our boundaries with ourselves.  If our bottom line is too low, we can life it up.  We can make a new bottom line for ourselves so the bottom is life being mellow and not yet happy instead of horrendous.  We can lift up our rock bottom so that we can see the sun even from there.  We can reset our expectations so we no longer accept devastation as probable and therefore our boundaries can begin to include wonder.

Check your internal boundaries and see, does my bottom line need to shift?  If so, start moving it over towards the ok.  It won’t just change what could possibly be, it will resent your normal everyday because if the boundaries move, so does your center.  Being centered in happiness may be one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself so get shifting.