“Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.”
--Gerald Manley Hopkins
Boundaries are imaginary lines that we draw to protect ourselves from harm. Even if that harm is from ourselves. When you choose healthy boundaries for yourself, you have decided to have a governor or moral compass for what you say, do or think.
When was the last time you took on other’s guilt, problems, negative energy and/or reactivity?
Healthy boundaries require clear internal boundaries. They require knowing your own feelings and your responsibilities to yourself and others.
Creating your own boundary lines with an abstract Picasso like etch-a-sketch drawing is probably not working for you.
When we borrow other people’s things, we are supposed to return them. However, when we borrow each other’s negative energy, problems and guilt it is hard to get the full refund.
The problem is that these feelings tend to bleed into other areas of our lives. I think we spend a lot of time and energy worrying about things that aren’t about us. Boundaries are about taking responsibility for the choices that either build you up or break you down.
Thinking about boundaries reminds me of when I signed my 5 year old son up for city league soccer. He was so cute in that little blue uniform, with shorts too big for him, missing front teeth and a grin to match.
Every Saturday, we came to the field, sat in our lawn chairs out of bounds and watched the game. When the coach put him in, he ran right over next to me on the sideline. Pretty cool right? But, then he wouldn’t leave.
He just stood there and waited, and waited. We cheered for him, we said things like get in there, go for it, you got this. That kid didn’t budge. He remained on the sidelines the entire time he was supposed to be in.
This went on for a couple more games.
I thought, what have I done, what should I do, everyone else is asking me how to get him to play. I took on guilt, negativity and what others think into this scenario. Basically I borrowed trouble.
I asked him one day what he thought about soccer. He said, “I love it, I get to go to the big field, wear cleats and get two ins and two outs.” I was like, “what?” He said well you know you get to go inside the boundaries two times and then you get to go out of the boundaries two times and drink gatorade.
Love the playful mind of a child...they don’t overthink things.
Perhaps the "Mommy" needed to get a life and not take on an issue that wasn’t hers to solve. As soon as I just sat back and watched ... you know how this story ends. He eventually felt ready and safe and willing to start chasing that crazy ball up and down the field.
You know life is like this. When we choose to take on only our own issues, problems and struggles we gain the freedom and safety of a clear boundary.
Let’s go chase that dream of yours up and down the field!
3 Ways to Create Boundaries: