Personal boundaries define where you end and where someone else begins. They resemble a fence that distinguishes what is your property from what belongs to a partner. Inside the fence you will find what you feel, what you want, what you need, what you think, and what works for you. Outside the fence is the property of your partner – what they feel, want, need, think, and what works for them.

The card BOUNDARIES invites you to look at how you set and respect personal boundaries in your relationship. Clear boundaries promote healthy relating. With clear boundaries, you know what you really feel. You know what you want or need. And you can clearly state what you feel, want, or need to your partner. Nothing is left out, nothing is left unstated, and nothing is left to the imagination of the other person.

Boundaries also have gates that you can open – or close. When closed, you go within yourself to know what is true for you. When open, you are available to truly let in, listen to, and consider whatever your partner is expressing.

Perhaps the card BOUNDARIES is encouraging you to learn to more fully close your gates at certain times. If your gates get stuck in the open position, then you may have trouble saying “no” to others. This card may be asking you to take some time out to go inside yourself – to better know what you yourself feel, need, or want. You may need to oil your hinges and practice closing your gates at times so you can come to better know and respect who you are.

On the other hand, maybe BOUNDARIES has appeared to encourage you to open more fully. If your gates get stuck in the closed position, acting like walls, then you may never truly open to connect with others or let them all the way in. You may be concerned about being trapped, controlled, or losing yourself. You may have trouble fully saying “yes” to others. This card may be letting you know that you are now safe to open to others. You may need to oil your hinges and practice opening your gates – opening your heart, reaching outside of yourself, and learning to trust that you are safe to let others more fully into your life.

Unclear boundaries create big problems in relating. If you cannot distinguish what is going on in each of you, difficulties with a partner become magnified. If you can’t tell what each of you feels, you can’t sort out what is really going on between you. If you can’t state what each of you wants or needs, you won’t know how to truly resolve your issues.

Clarifying your own boundaries is very beneficial. Do this by asking yourself these questions: “What do I truly feel? What do I really want or need? What truly works for me?” It can be useful to discuss your answers to these questions with your partner, and also find out how they answer these questions. If you do this, let one person speak at a time – uninterrupted.

Flexibility in opening or closing your gates is what allows you to merge with a partner – or be separate – at different times. While it is wonderful to merge, it is also important to know who you are individually. Knowing your boundaries, respecting them, and choosing to open or to close makes for a healthy, dynamic relationship between two whole people.