I used to have lots of boundaries. If you did anything I didn’t want you to do, or anything I didn’t agree with, then you were crossing my boundaries. I was a completely terrified person who didn’t really know that he was angry. Nor did I know that my “tough guy” act was all just a ploy to cover up my terror.
So there were lots of rules that people had to abide by at all times, or risk my wrath.
I used to be terribly codependent too. The outer world controlled me, so it only made sense that when I would get in to a relationship, it would dictate me as well. It was a pretty terrible life, all the time trying to get everyone in line the way I needed them to be in order for me to be okay.
Not only is this unfair to me, it is very unfair to others. What this does is it makes another person responsible for us. Other people will hang around for a bit, but soon they will be trying to get out from under the responsibility of making you okay.
Boundaries are not about what other people need to do in order to make me okay.
Boundaries are about me being okay and deciding what and who I want in my life and how I want my life to be.
The catch is that there was a time when I totally had no idea what a healthy boundary looked like. At times I had to be led like a kindergartner through this process of self development. I thought boundaries were like, “You better not step on my toes, or I’ll break your nose!”
I learned that I cannot place boundaries or rules upon other people that are based on my fears.
Boundaries are to be formed out of love. Love for my self, and love for my fellow man.
Boundaries are also closely tied to our intentions in life. Our intention is to have a healthy loving relationship. Our intention is to accomplish certain goals, and to create our life to be a certain way. Without boundaries, things become impossible for us. This is simply because;
It is us who defines our lives.
After all, what exactly is our idea of a “healthy relationship”? What exactly are the steps we are taking to accomplish our goals? What promotes these things, and what holds these things back? When we don’t have things clearly defined, then we find that we cannot move forward or progress the way we want to.
Clearly define your intentions in all areas of your life. Define what is okay and what is not okay. Write it down, draw a picture of it, envision it in your mind. Once this is done, we have “charted our course” so to speak, and we can now begin to move forward.
In part three of this blog I will address the issue of respecting boundaries and how to deal with it when people are not respecting your boundaries. This is a very key issue, because a lot of us do not know how to properly handle this situation. So in part three I will attempt to define the proper way of handling it when someone isn’t respecting your boundaries.