The Need for Boundaries – “Do No Harm” Starts with Me

Licia Berry

Licia Berry

My experience with folks that don’t observe boundaries is that we need to let them know they have crossed them; otherwise they don’t get the opportunity to learn how they are being harmful.

I used to think that as a deeply spiritual person I needed to turn the other cheek…that I was reflecting the divinity in myself by allowing them to be hurtful, telling myself they were having a bad day, “beaming unconditional love at them”.  As I have grown spiritually, I am learning that allowing others to be hurtful violates the number one divine law that I learned, which is “Do No Harm”, and that allowing others to harm ME means I am violating that law.

I have also observed that giving someone feedback about how they have crossed a boundary gives them the opportunity to correct their behavior, and if they are truly wanting to heal themselves, and opportunity to go inward to see why they are driven to cross boundaries in the ways they do.  But it doesn’t happen unless I let them know they were hurtful to me.

I let some people in my life hurt me for a very long time because I was “too spiritual” to say anything about their trespasses.  I wasn’t creating any urgency for them to heal. I was actually contributing to their woundedness by not setting any limits.  In co-dependency terms, this is called “enabling”.  As I began to cherish my well being, and set limits when they crossed healthy boundaries, my life began to improve.

Join me for a discussion on Feminine/Masculine Leadership and “The Need for Boundaries” on Illumined Hearts Radio this Saturday at 1:00 Eastern.


Cultivating a Healthy Relationship

I was looking over the subject topics as I embark on this journey with The Survivor Manual, and this one popped out at me.  “Healthy Relationships”.  What is that?  Well, as a champion of unhealthy relationships in the past, and one who is working everyday to make my current relationship “healthy”, I had to think about what the word “healthy” means to me.   To be healthy, indicates that we are in balance physically and mentally. That we are taking care of ourselves.  As abuse survivors, this is not easy.  We were conditioned to believe that we didn’t matter, that we were here to be used, and abused for someone else’s pleasure.  This is a major untruth that sits in our psyche.  It rots away any positive thoughts, or energy that exists within us. It ruins our self esteem and self love.  In turn, it effects our relationships with others.   What if we could learn to change that self image — to change our thinking, and see ourselves as whole, happy, and beautiful? What if we could shine unconditional love upon ourselves?

The premise that we are here to love, be loved, and be needed, is true.  So, if we can start this process by loving someone else — while also knowing that they love and need us — it would help us incredibly.  I love my wife unconditionally.  She is not perfect…but she is to me.  Even with all of her flaws, she is perfect.  I can see that, and I tell her so.  She has told me that I am beautiful, and that I am perfect.  She loves me unconditionally.  I didn’t believe her, at first.  It has taken a long time for me to believe her.  But once I did, everything started to change.  Because that simple yet difficult thing, loving someone unconditionally — acknowledging yet accepting their flaws — means that you can also do it for yourself.  I always believed that a healthy relationship with another human being starts with a healthy relationship with yourself.  While, finding the most healthy version of ourselves, is the presumed goal, it may not be the starting point.  Someone who has been abused has to work through so much to get to the point of healing.  They have to cross many bridges and barriers to find their true selves.  A possible shortcut would be to really love and accept someone else first.  Of course recognizing someone whom encompasses these traits, would be a whole different topic in itself.  But truly, someone who loves you, warts and all —  they can shine a light on you like no one else can.

Stories of healing and the movement to end childhood sexual abuse

Film shoots continue, grants received and we welcome new team members this year!

This year kicked off with much opportunity, pushing the film forward. We received the Eva and Lucius Eastman fund grant. This will help us wrap up the film shoots and move on to post production.  We would like to welcome Tracy Johnson to our team, Tracy writes, produces and directs programs for The History Channel, A&E, Court TV, Food Network and many other networks. Welcome Tracy and we welcome, yet, another Tracey.  Tracey Amaya as our new intern, she will be assisting with transcribing and event planning. Can we say Team Tracey!

On February 17th we interviewed Howard Fradkin Ph.D., LICDC of Male Survivor, he has counseled over 1000 male survivors. Dr. Fradkin was also featured as an expert on Oprah’s historic two shows, featuring 200 male survivors gathered together to offer hope and inspiration for the millions of survivors around the world.  It was an honor to interview Dr. Fradkin. He discussed how to thrive after childhood sexual abuse, what bystanders can do to help break the stigma and shared his new book Breaking the Silence: Empowering Male Survivors to Thrive.

Finally, Tracey Quezada the producer will speak at UC Berkeley, Gender Equity Department April 10th at 6:00pm, we will screen the work in progress with a Q and A discussion.  We want to hear your questions and comments, please save the date!


Tracey Quezada
Producer, Writer, Director