Claim the Night Sky: An Open Letter About Boundaries

J Haley Phillips
2 min readJul 29, 2020


To the ones who are just learning to set boundaries… I see you.

I see you wavering, wondering, “Is this compromise or am I giving away too much again?”

I see you struggling, your voice cracking as you say, “No, not this time.”

I see you uncertain, unsure how to approach your needs and desires.

I see you doing it anyway.

You’ll meet resistance. People who have only known you when you were bent and bruised (but not broken) will be accustomed to that version of you. If they received something from you — your submission, your malleability, a feeling of superiority — they will want to keep you there. Don’t let them. Stand your ground and keep pushing forward. Grow. Blossom.

I know where you’ve been. I know that darkness, that dusky hollowness that not only surrounds you but sits inside you. The whisper in your ear telling you that you’ll never be good enough, you’ll never be productive enough, you’ll never be attractive enough, you’ll never be…

… enough.

Until you’ve HAD enough.

Until your spirit shrieks, “No more!!” and you rise off your knees, wailing to the sky. You blow the clouds away so that you can see the stars. You drink in the moonlight as you understand why it both waxes and wanes.

You are but a crescent sliver yourself, returning from the darkness, a baby moon taking its first steps toward fullness. You will need time and practice to be steady on your feet, but keep going. Press on. You are not meant to reside in darkness but to light it up. The sky is wide and you are meant to shine across it all.

So set your boundaries, dearheart.

“Yes” and “No” are your sacred tools. Blot out the vicious whispers and listen to your heart, your soul, your gut– and heed their guidance. This is your story and no one else’s. Choose a new narrative for yourself. Go ahead and claim that night sky.

You are not “feisty” for voicing your opinions.

You are not “ballsy“ for expressing your concerns.

You are not “cute” or “funny” or “fragile” as you flex your burgeoning self-worth.

You are fierce. You are strong.
This is heavy work and I am so proud of you.



J Haley Phillips

I’m an editor/writer/coach with a focus on inspiring, empowering, and healing content. I love tea, travel, long hippie skirts, and diving deep into the Self.