During the holidays, our boundary-buttons are pushed to the max.
While your inner voice may be screaming “Hell no! I don’t want to go to that party!—you ignore it and find yourself politely saying, “Sure, I’ll put it in my calendar now. What can I bring?” Your heart sinks as your fantasy of putting on slippers and curling up by the fire vanishes. Instead, you’ll be rushing around buying another gift for the host (when already you’re financially strained), whipping up some food to bring and feeling exhausted by the thought of another night out eating unhealthy food.
Sure, some parties are fun and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. But which events are you going to because you feel bad saying no? And which are you going to because you’re excited to say yes?
In other words, which yes’s and which no’s are truly in alignment with your boundaries?Expressing healthy boundaries feels good.Click To Tweet
Boundaries aren’t just important for your mental health and overall life balance. Healthy boundaries are a sign of a healthy liver. They also support the health of your liver. (When I say liver, I mean the liver energetic system from a Chinese medicine perspective, not literally the the liver itself.) Liver health is vital when it comes to your fertility. My acupuncturist friends and I have a little joke that goes, “All roads lead back to the liver.”
In other words, when the liver is unhappy, every other system will be, too. When the liver is happy, everything else begins to run smoothly. In Chinese medicine, each organ system has its own spiritual, emotional and mental responsibilities. One of the primary duties of the liver is to maintain healthy boundaries.
Let’s face it: Women have a tough time saying no. And what happens when you don’t express your true inner urge to say ‘no, thanks’? You might grow resentful. Or maybe you feel over-extended and exhausted. Or maybe you get angry with yourself because you feel you don’t deserve to honor how you truly feel. Any one of these has the potential to strain the liver. Anger and repressed emotion damages liver energy. When you’re exhausted and over-extended, the liver is stressed.
The liver energy system is responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle, balancing hormones and circulating blood to the uterus. An upset liver will take a toll on all other systems by weakening your digestion, disrupting sleep and hormones, compromising your immune function and straining your adrenals.
Expressing healthy boundaries feels good. It might take a little getting used to, like using a new muscle. But if you release the need to feel guilt and embrace how good it feels to be authentic and true to yourself. You can enjoy how empowering it feels to be in control of your life and how wonderful it feels to love yourself enough to listen to and honor your inner voice.
So do your liver a favor and say no (or yes!) only when you really want to.