|free stock image altered by me|
I read this quote yesterday and it stopped me in my tracks. You know how it is when you're thinking about something, or working through something and you see a message and it's simply what you've been looking for, even if you didn't know that "it" was what you needed. I'd already made this decision but reading this quote cemented the decision for me. I like when that happens.
I don't often struggle with boundaries but there are times in my life when I do. I suspect that we all do. We may not even be aware that we have those boundaries until someone comes along and shakes them or worse yet, works very hard, passively or aggressively, to batter them down. I don't take kindly to that. Who would?
I have my thoughts and my opinions. They are mine and I value the fact that I have them. I make choices that I believe are in my best interest, sometimes they are in someone else's best interest and I can take that step back in order to accommodate or compromise. That's healthy. And it seems to me that when someone has clear or solid boundaries in place, there are others, who feel it's their given "right" to do what they can to break them down.
Many years ago I'd have sputtered and fumed and carried on about how "unfair" that is and how no one has the right. Wasted breath, wasted energy and wasted time. These days I move on. If I respect your boundaries, but you don't respect mine? I'm out of there.
Children require boundaries to help them understand right from wrong, polite from rude, good from bad and how to function wholly in this world. We continue to need those boundaries in our adult lives for our own protection, for our own peace of mind and to allow others to gauge where they stand with us within our social contexts.
There are other boundaries as well. The ones where you give and give and be the one who steps up to the plate in a relationship but there is no equal giving on the other end. It's easy to let those boundaries sag and become weak out of love or a mistaken image of love (romantic and/or otherwise because we all know there are many forms of love). I have sometimes struggled with "well, I love this person so it's okay for me to keep putting myself out there" or "this is what love is about, you don't keep score" and all kinds of other things that I say to myself to feel better about the fact that hey sister, you're letting yourself down here. You aren't being true to yourself or your inner values right down to your core. Caring about people and loving people does not include being walked all over...and allowing that to happen.
So I've taken this quote to heart. I'm taking a hammer and some strong spikes and I'm going around my boundaries making sure that they are shored up and ready for me to open the gate in the boundaries when it's right, when it's good and when it's a mutual two way street.