I wrote this post several years ago when I was dealing with some ‘stuff.’
I am revisiting it to say I am in a much better place yet the words still hold true and are worth looking back on…
Boundaries pt I…(1/30/2012)
I read an article in an OC magazine about a man whose house is directly on the boundary line of Los Angeles County and Orange County. Because of this discrepancy, he gets his water from one county, electricity from another. Mail is often lost because his zip code denotes one county but the delivery system doesn’t recognize it as the correct county code in which he resides. God help him if he ever needs emergency services. Which county will respond?
His life is in constant upheaval because of this. And while on some levels it could be considered the best of both worlds, living in two great cities, it mostly describes a chaotic system that has no rhyme or reason.
It can be said that without clear boundaries in place, our lives reflect this man’s frustrations. Without clear boundaries, we live our lives in a state of discord.
Cities/states/countries/governments all have clear, concise areas delineated so that order can be maintained. Cross them and there are consequences. We know this. We accept this.
Try crossing a North Korean/Iranian/Iraqi border and those consequences can be fatal.
Trespass, ignore traffic signs, enter restricted areas, it could lead to criminal charges.
Yet, in a society so accepting of these ‘laws’ of order, we find it difficult to apply these principles on a personal level.
We find it hard to tell friends or family, ‘You crossed a line,’ or ‘No! That is not acceptable.’ Why is that? There has to be more than an implied manner of acceptable behavior. But how do we draw that line in the sand without risking the loss of said relationship?
It is not wrong to stand firm and say, ‘I deserve to be treated with dignity.’
Part of my reinvention this year is to find my voice, speak my truth and set my boundaries. I do not know how to do this yet but writing this will hopefully set those wheels in motion.
Here is my line in the sand. It is in the shape of a heart to remind me of what needs protecting. I’ve set my boundaries not to hurt others but to help me.
Boundaries pt II…(1/31/2012)
After careful consideration as to the importance of boundaries and how I wish to define them in my life, I came up with the following.
I will not be spoken to badly. I deserve respect and in return I will speak with responsible consideration to you.
Just because we are related does not give you the right to make unnecessary demands of me or my time….in return, I promise not to do those things to you. (Note: if you are unsure what are unnecessary demands, ask me and I will tell you in love with kindness.)
I refuse to be held hostage to the emotions of others. If I upset you- come to me and we can talk about it. But I will not allow myself to be bullied into an act of contrition because you are upset.
I have the right to protect myself. If that means I have to limit my time around those who are emotionally draining, demanding or needy-Then that’s what I must do. If that makes me appear insensitive in your eyes, well, that’s just how it will seem…to you. I can’t change how you feel or think, I won’t even try.
I have the right to add to or change my boundaries as life dictates. This does not make me indecisive- It means I am open to growth and change. After all, that’s what life is all about.