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Set Boundaries and RUNFREE: A Tool to be Loved

A man in Los Angeles pushing a shoe away as a way to set a boundary
A man in Los Angeles pushing a shoe away as a way to set a boundary

“Those who get angry when you set a boundary are the ones you need to set boundaries for.”

– J.S. Wolfe

Boundary (n): is a psychological, emotional, or physical line that separates your personal space, needs, and limits from those of others.

Boundaries define the space in which you feel safe, respected, and loved in your life. They can be both internal and external. Internal boundaries involve your emotional and mental limits, such as recognizing your feelings and knowing when to say "no" to others to protect your well-being. Saying “no” to others is also saying “YES” to yourself! External boundaries relate to your interactions with others, delineating the kind of treatment you will accept and the behaviors you find unacceptable. Setting and maintaining boundaries is a fundamental aspect of self-love, self-care, and healthy relationships that allow you to navigate life in a way that aligns with your values and prioritizes your well-being.

Why Setting Boundaries are Important?

Setting boundaries is important for several significant reasons. Firstly, boundaries serve as a cornerstone of healthy and respectful relationships with others and yourself. They establish the framework for how individuals interact, ensuring that personal needs, space, and feelings are acknowledged by everyone, including by yourself to yourself. In doing so, they lay the foundation for open and transparent communication, fostering trust and understanding. Boundaries give permission to people to love you the way you desire being loved and connected with. Seeing it from this perspective allows you to view boundaries as pieces of gifts you give.

Secondly, boundaries are essential for maintaining your self-worth. When you set and hold your boundaries, you convey the message that your feelings and needs are important, increasing your self-esteem and your value. This is a crucial aspect of maintaining healthy self-esteem and emotional well-being. Everytime you stand up for yourself, you are rewiring your brain to see your own worth, and you are connecting to the inherent part of that is pure.

Thirdly, boundaries are integral to personal growth and empowerment. By setting foundations with clear edges, you gain a sense of control over your actions. The creation of these edges also give you clarity on what works for you and what does not work for you. Having this kind of clarity allows you to make choices that align with your values and priorities, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

Additionally, boundaries are key to stress reduction and management of anxiety. They allow you to manage your commitments, time, and energy effectively, preventing burnout and anxiety in relationships with family, colleagues, and loved ones. This self-care is crucial for mental health advancement and wellness.

People getting along and celebrating each other as a result of healthy boundary setting
People getting along and celebrating each other as a result of healthy boundary setting

How To Set a Boundary - The RUNFREE Method

Setting boundaries involves a combination of self-awareness, effective communication, and assertiveness. Shakti Therapy & Healing Services invented and uses the RUNFREE method of setting boundaries.

Let's expand on the acronym "R.U.N.F.R.E.E." and what it represents in the context of managing guilt with setting boundaries:

R - Recognize the importance of boundaries: Understand that boundaries are essential for maintaining your well-being and mental health. Recognizing their significance allows you to prioritize yourself and advocate for your needs in relationships and in life.

U - Understand your feelings of guilt: Take time to reflect on why you feel guilty about setting boundaries. Explore any underlying beliefs or fears that may be contributing to these emotions. Understanding the root cause of your emotions can help you address and process these feelings effectively.

N - Communicate assertively: When setting boundaries, be clear and direct in expressing your needs and limits. Use "I" statements to assert yourself while maintaining respect for others' feelings. Effective communication helps ensure that your boundaries are understood and respected by those around you.

F - Focus on the positive outcomes: Remind yourself of the benefits of setting boundaries. Improved self-esteem, reduced anxiety, and healthier relationships are some of the positive outcomes that can result from establishing clear boundaries.

R - Remember that you deserve respect: Recognize that you have the right to set boundaries to protect your physical and emotional well-being. Loving yourself and being clear on how you want to be loved allows others to understand and love you

E - Evaluate and adjust as needed: Regularly assess how well your boundaries are working for you. If you find that certain boundaries need adjustment or that new boundaries need to be set, be open to making changes to better align as you evolve.

E - Engage in self-compassion: Be kind and understanding toward yourself throughout the process of setting and maintaining boundaries. Recognize that it's normal to experience guilt or challenges, and be patient with yourself as you navigate this journey.

By applying these expanded strategies, you can effectively manage guilt and cultivate healthier boundaries, promoting greater emotional well-being and improved relationships in your life. If you continue to struggle with setting boundaries and face anxiety because of this, reach out to Shakti Therapy & Healing Services, a holistic and spiritual group practice in Los Angeles that can help you affirm your edges and allow you to be loved the way you deserve.

Using the RUNFREE Boundary method and breaking the chains of  constriction
Using the RUNFREE Boundary method and breaking the chains of constriction

Ektha Aggarwal is an experienced licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and Founder of Shakti Therapy and Healing Services.

Shakti Therapy is a holistic & psychotherapeutic mental health clinic. We realize that we are an integral part of the vast and complex web of life - that the health of the whole is intimately connected with the health of the individual. Shakti Therapy combines both ancient Eastern & the most up to date scientific modalities, to create a basis of connection - mind to body, human to nature, individual to community, physical to spiritual, past to present to future.

To learn more about Shakti Therapy and Healing services, please visit


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