Part Two: Boundaries
Last week we discussed boundaries, what they are and how to put them into work. This week, we’re going to dig deeper into the how and why.
Most of us want to have clear boundaries, but we don’t want to follow through on the consequence part. We don’t want to take the action that we say we’re going to take, and that is the most important part of the boundary because otherwise, that boundary won’t be taken seriously.
There won’t be any validity to that boundary because even though you’ve stated it’s there, you’re not following through on establishing it.
When you don’t follow through, you create a lot of resentment, anger and frustration for yourself. It’s unnecessary.
Speaking your truth is hard work. It is hard because it is the work of true intimacy. This is the work of really honoring ourselves and what’s authentic and true for us and being willing to let other people interpret it and make it mean what they will.
These kinds of conversations are so difficult for so many people. What we do is we stay in these relationships where we’re pretending, and then we wonder why our relationships aren’t deep quality, intimate relationships. We’re all smiling at each other, pretending that everything is great, and not telling each other the truth and not having the conversations that really matter.
This is something that I encourage because I feel like it gets us locked into relationships that end up blowing up and having so much drama involved because what happened is, we blame the other person for our lack of boundaries.
There are some important things to remember when you’re setting a boundary. One of them is all boundaries can come from a place of love, so if you’re frustrated and angry and mad, my suggestion is you work through those emotions, you write down your feelings about them and you work through those until you can get to a space of calm, peace and love, before you ever talk to someone else.
The reason why you are frustrated and resentful and upset is not because of this other person. The reason you’re frustrated and resentful is because you don’t have proper boundaries and you haven’t been speaking the truth.
When you own that and you really take that on as your responsibility, then from that place, you can clean up those emotions, then you can have a conversation with someone else and you can tell them how you feel, what your boundary is and what you will do if the boundary isn’t honored.
You can do it from a place of love and you don’t have to ridicule anybody or make them wrong or bad because of their behavior. I will tell you what, that’s a beautiful thing because a lot of times, people have learned how to violate your boundaries because you haven’t had any, and so they’re going to keep doing what they’ve always been doing of course, and you just continually honoring yourself and taking care of yourself by following through on your boundaries will change that for you.
Boundaries are beautiful tools that we need to use in our life to create intimacy, not to block it.
A boundary doesn’t keep people out of our lives. A boundary just keeps people from violating important spaces in our lives, and when we have boundaries; the intimacy is increased, not decreased.
The truth is told more often, not less often. I can tell people in my life that I have boundaries with, “Hey look, this is one of those boundary things for me. I’m just not feeling like it’s okay for this to go on and I just want to let you know that if it happens, if you do that again, this is what’s going to happen and I love you and I think you’re magnificent.”
Instead of, “I can’t believe you did that to me and that’s so terrible and I hate you and I’m never talking to you again.”
How many of us do that? Then we lose these relationships that are so important to us because of this all or nothing thinking.
Now on the other flip side of that is we misuse our boundaries to try and manipulate people and get them to behave in a way that is much more manual oriented versus boundary oriented.
Make sure that you recognize the only time you set a boundary with someone is when there’s a boundary violation, someone has come in to your property and is violating it in some way, either emotionally or physically, and only then do you set a proper boundary, by making a request to someone and having a consequence that you are 100% willing to follow through on with love and with peace.
If you are able to do this, it will increase the intimacy in your life. It will increase the authenticity and the honesty in your life. If you are willing to have enough courage to honor yourself and tell the truth, ultimately, you will protect yourself from any boundary violation.
Stay healthy in mind and body.
Board Certified Marital & Family Attorney, Life Coach
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