Protecting Your Happiness with Healthy Boundaries

Think of every day as a penny saved.

When every person is born, they’re an empty jar to be filled with experiences. At the end of their life—whenever that happens—there will be a pile of experiences in their jar.

Imagine a glass jar and every experience is a penny. Are the pennies bright and shiny copper? Or are they covered in dirt and grime, looking like pennies you’d rather not keep?

Every day, every moment, is a penny in your jar. When we’re children, we don’t get to choose which pennies are put in our jar. The experiences we’re subjected to become the pennies deposited. If we have happy memories from childhood, our jars foundation will be lined with shiny copper.

When our foundations are lined with shiny copper, it’s much easier to build on that. But when our foundations are lined with ugly pennies, a shiny copper penny may look out of place, it may not feel right being thrown into that jar.

Establishing boundaries happens when you discover that the jar you’re working with is yours, and the pennies deposited can be filtered through your decisions. You can add to a shiny bottom or cover it up one penny at a time.

Your boundaries help you filter out bad pennies and especially filter out people who are only ever depositing bad pennies into your jar.


Check out my latest post on The Midday Latte: Why Moms Need Boundaries the Most


Your boundaries will be determined by your priorities, which means it’s important for you to be specific about what you want to prioritize.

  1. Identify your ideal life, what makes you happiest?

  2. Determine what steps will get you there.

  3. Establish boundaries to protect those steps.

Finding your own personal happiness will be driven by your motivation. You won’t always be encouraged by others to enforce your boundaries or protect your priorities. Making the decision to be consistent about what matters to you is going to take some work and it won’t always be easy.

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We establish boundaries, even when it’s hard, because without them we can easily lose sight of what’s important to us. Outside influences are always vying for our attention. People want to be our priorities. In some instances, they can be. We can choose to make others our priority, or our relationship with others a priority, but we must always consider our personal happiness as well.

You may feel like giving in to others will be easier or bring you more peace or happiness in the moment, but you’ll start to feel the effects of never bring first priority. You may become anxious, depressed, or constantly feel run down.

Pursuing our own personal happiness is about keeping the things in our life that bring us light—the shiny copper pennies.

We establish boundaries as a filter to the pennies we accept so when our jar becomes full, it’s full of light instead of darkness.