For the first 18 years of our lives (give or take) we had someone else over watching our social affairs. They decided what time it was appropriate to socialize, with who it was appropriate and where. You weren’t afforded much privacy and nothing that belonged to you was ever really your own. This is compounded if you grew up with siblings. These aren’t inherently problematic, but as a product of these circumstances, many of us lack real boundaries. Real boundaries - the kind you establish from your own values and those that even your superiors must respect - typically develop in your young adult years between the ages of 18 and 24.
Ideally, we would have parents and family who have our best interest to learn from, but not all of us are lucky in that regard. The majority of us, through trial and error, must learn to establish our own boundaries. Even for those of us that are lucky enough to have parental guidance, our identity, (which changes throughout life and especially during young adult years) will be in development. This means that you will be discovering the kind of boundaries you want. I’ve written about boundaries before because they’re so integral to forming an identity and perhaps more importantly, to protecting one’s peace.
Our young adult years are like a second puberty of sorts. You will go through a plethora of experiences, many of which will guide you in determining the kinds of boundaries you will set for yourself. It’s important to take this time to learn from your mistakes, failures, and success in order to establish a solid identity that no one can impede upon. Having a solid identity is akin to forming your own country of one, and every nation has a constitution. Constitutions make up the fundamental structures of a body of people and they outline what a nation stands for.
This is done to help a group of like-minded individuals protect their interests so that ideally, no one can destroy a way of life they view as best for them. I write all this to say that, you will go through many experiences in your young adult years that may leave you feeling absolutely worn. Life is tough for everyone and you will learn just how unfair, ugly, and cruel the world can be during this phase of your life. Life will surprise you well past your young adult years but especially now because this is a time where you’re developing into a functioning adult. It has been my experience that the more well adjusted among us, are those who have established their own personal constitutions and prioritized their peace.
Peace of mind is something many of us take for granted, and it is one of the most important parts of our identity. Many men and women feel ravaged by life and become bitter or desperate because somewhere along the lines, their peace of mind has deserted them. If there is one thing that can hack away at a person’s boundaries or even demolish them completely, it would be inner turmoil.
At length I’ve discussed the importance of boundaries and the period of our lives at which most of us establish real boundaries. But learning how to establish boundaries is important too. It’s an intuitive process for the most part and one’s femininity, feminine energy, and even masculine energy (whatever you wish to call it, we all possess both) can help you in establishing boundaries. Many of us were brought up on false ideas of what healthy femininity looks like. There are thousands of years of masculine-centered ideas on femininity that we all need to unlearn.
Whatever the case, if you’re a young woman it’s important that you protect your femininity. It helps you to navigate life in manner that leads towards growth and self-actualization. When dating it assists you in getting exactly what you want from those experiences and this is even true if you don’t have plans on sharing your home, womb, or life with anyone else. It’s an energy about yourself that can give you a leg up in life when cultivated and weigh you down when neglected.
One’s feminine energy serves as a foundation and can guide you to what kind of boundaries you should set for yourself. Femininity is a collection of socially constructed behaviors, attitudes, and mannerisms that have a woman’s best interest at heart. There are certain experiences in life that majority of women collectively go through. Women can reap the benefits of these experiences the most when you establish boundaries that protect your peace because inner turmoil not only tears away at peace but femininity as well. There's nothing that can take a girl out of her element like stress, fear, regret, and confusion.
By just asking yourself if your lifestyle is setting you up for or offering you a sense of security, proper provision, and comfort during the most vulnerable periods of your life, is establishing boundaries that protect your feminine energy. You should also be asking if the people in your life are contributing to you being a more well rounded and better individual. Not all company you entertain will be good company, but at the very least they should assist in your growth. If someone’s presence is tearing away at you rather than building you, then that’s how you know that it’s time to cut your losses.
When you prioritize the presence of another person in your life over your own peace, you’re not being kind, mature, nor the bigger person. You’re just enabling a scenario where you will eventually have a toxic fallout. You’re also practicing a toxic form of hyper femininity where you become too passive. No one makes it through life unscathed, but you can ensure that you fully recover from these experiences when you create enough space to heal from them. This space you create lies just beyond the boundaries you establish. Remember to protect your best interests and tap into your feminine intuition. Doing so will keep you peaceful and a woman at peace is powerful.
Lilith is a blogger with an emphasis in writing and reflecting upon social agendas that effect black women. When not at her computer writing she is more than likely still at her computer, programming. On the rare occasion that Lilith isn't at her laptop you can attempt to find her exploring the Chicago food scene or attending workshops in creative writing