For thirty nine years I have been searching for confidence and the ability to feel comfortable in my own skin. I have inched along slowly, and at times have felt I am making progress. In the past I have always been excited to feel something new manifesting. I have had the joy of experiencing it several times in my lifetime. My marriage, the birth of my son, receiving my degree. This latest shift has at times been frightening though. It is something much deeper. I am unconsciously fighting against it most of the time. The change is that I am becoming a different person because of healthy boundaries. It’s the moment I say no to someone, or allow myself to be seen when it’s uncomfortable and vulnerable. It may possibly be one of the most important shifts that happen in my life. I am in it right now, so writing about it makes me dizzy. We all have things about ourselves we want to work on. For a highly sensitive person like me I think it’s an even steeper climb to really push through, and change possible personality defects. It’s even hard for me to label them defects. It’s hard to write about it and put it into words. I’ve realized I have to start there. No one else can fix me. So I’m having to constantly learn over and over through often painful experiences what I need to do. It’s my turn to heal myself. Therapy has helped, but the most powerful healing experiences have been moments where I stand my ground with family, friends, and acquaintances. Not hours or days after the moment, but right when it happens. Normally I have waited and tried to bring up problems later. This hasn’t worked for me. One moment at a time is all I can do, and it’s starting to shift. I’ve still tried to be perfect when I say no, and create boundaries. Some habits are hard to break. I have worked to deliver my messages in certainty and kindness. I have tried to pay attention to my tone of voice. I am still constantly learning that this is exhausting. So many people that I cared about have left. I have fought against fears of isolation. This was one of my greatest fears of setting up boundaries. I have always wanted everyone to like me. The confidence is in the idea that nobody else gets to define me by their experience. I don’t have this part of my life figured out, but I’m still fighting and learning. I’m not giving up even when some people have left my life and it seems hopeless. Learning to have boundaries is my gift to myself. I will try not to be afraid anymore.