Recently I was listening to a leader that said every time she allowed her boundaries to be crossed, she lost trust in herself. As I thought about this statement- it opened up my eyes to see the truth. We always need to be true to who God has made us to be. Not who we think we are or how someone else defines us. But by God’s definition of who we are and who he created us to be. When we don’t stick to our boundaries, we defile ourselves and build distrust within ourselves.
If we’re not setting and keeping boundaries, we allow any behavior into our lives. This can do a lot of damage to everyone involved. Respect, understanding, gratefulness, are all thrown out the window when we don’t state our boundaries and stick to our boundaries. If this is new to you and you don’t understand how this works keep reading.
What do you value?
Before we can set clear boundaries, we need to look at what we value. We have to look at what is healthy for our well being and helpful to others. This will give you the direction you need to set good boundaries.
Now of course, not all of us are going to agree on what to value. Christians vs Non-Christians, Liberals vs. Conservatives, tend to not value the same things. I’ve never been one to really like labeling but it does give some sortof direction to what someone believes.
I truly believe our actions and lack of actions showcase who we are and what we stand for. And in this case, we don’t need to label. We have to ask ourselves- what am I going to define as truth and what am I choosing to value? Both reflect the person that you choose to be.
Have you set clear boundaries?
Communication is so important. I think some of us realize this to a certain extent but we don’t always realize how deep this goes. Communication can get us the support system we need or give understanding in tragic circumstances.
Setting clear boundaries means that we are very specific on what we do and don’t want/need from others. Setting clear boundaries means that we use words that our audience needs to hear in order to get the point across. It also means we are firm and direct. We’re straight to the point without sugar coating. When we set clear boundaries we stick to it. We do not allow ourselves to negotiate. If we do that, we are not being true to ourselves or practicing healthy self love.
From that point on, we’ve done everything we can do. We just have to trust the process. If our boundaries are not received well, then we have clear direction to cut that person off or create some distance until boundaries are respected. Nothing can grow from a relationship where their is no love or respect. Crossing someone’s boundaries intentionally shows no love or respect.
This can be a difficult thing. We can really believe in our heart that we love someone or that they have the potential to be someone important in our life. But nothing good or healthy can come out of a relationship were boundaries are not being respected. This goes for every type of relationship- family, significant other, co-worker, neighbor…you get it). Giving unapologetic, prideful, and defensive people over and over chances will not end well. A person that values you, respects you and honors the relationship will listen and work on changing their behavior. If not, it’s time for you to move on from that relationship.
But girl, what if it’s my Family?
I hear you and I understand where you are coming from. Family can be tricky. You’re family will always be your family. I’ve seen people who struggle in their families. They give to the point of exhaustion and mental health taking a tole, only to later be bitter and resentful. I’ve known friends who have gone to counseling over this sort of stuff. I want to raise the question- do you stand up to your family or anyone who crosses your boundaries?
I believe that their is a loving way to do it. Communication has to happen out of a place of love and care for yourself and for that family member(s). Try preparing what you would say with someone close that you trust. Sometimes getting someone else’s perspective from someone you know and trust can help tremendously. But be careful who you share sensitive information with.
It seems harsh but depending on circumstances, you may need to let a family member go. You got to prioritize your life and if you have little ones, you have a responsibility of prioritizing their protection and giving them space to grow.
We are all a work in progress
It can be difficult to always get it right. We don’t. As humans we mess up. We don’t always say things the right way or with the right heart. Sometimes we can be too inner focused to see the full picture of what’s really going on. Give yourself and others grace. Take a few steps back. When the opportunity comes to get some counsel or perspective, take it.
As humans, it’s ok to not be perfect. But don’t let that be the excuse as to why you are not making progress in your life and in your relationships. You have a lot of power within you to make better choices. The choice is up to you who you want to direct your energy towards and how much you give to those relationships around you.
Each of us has the power to set our clear boundaries and be disciplined in keeping them. Let’s be proactive with loving ourselves and others so that we can have fulfilling lives. Let’s honor and respect one another so that our relationships can thrive and bring so much love and joy.