Where I End and You Begin
“You need boundaries…even in our material creations, boundaries mark the most beautiful of places, between the ocean and the shore, between the mountains and the plains, where the canyon meets the river.”
― Wm. Paul Young, Cross Roads
There’s a place where I end and you begin.
It’s called a boundary.
This place defines who you are.
Separate from me.
It protects your thoughts, and ideals
Your own vision to see.
It lets you choose the path you walk
Your own guide to be.
If I push and prod my way
Across this boundary,
You cease to be uniquely you.
In fact, you become me.
I wrote the poem above to reflect a simple but important concept….that boundaries are essential to a healthy relationship. Without boundaries…dysfunction and heartache thrive. Please join me in a series on boundaries.
Well, let’s get started with a simple definition: What is a boundary?
A boundary is simply a dividing line.
In a relationship, this dividing line defines what you will and will not allow. This involves how other’s treat you, communicate with you, and most importantly how they impact your values and life choices.
In the Bible, God sets many boundaries and limitations. He also cautions us to gaurd our hearts Prov 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. God warns us about what we expose ourselves to, and He encourages us to seek positive people and influences.
Do you have boundary issues? If you have problems with dysfunctional relationships that produce anxiety, guilt, lots of conflict, or hassle, then boundaries are likely not clearly established. If you tend to say yes when you really want to say no, or worry about always pleasing people, and find yourself an easy target of manipulation and abuse, then you likely do not know how to set protective boundaries. There is much to explore about boundaries and a vast amount of information on this topic in terms of books, blogs, articles, and yes, even scripture.
As a person who did not have healthy boundaries in my life, I have made many mistakes in my interpersonal relationships that have caused me significant suffering and heartache. I have had a long struggle to try and turn that around in my life, and to begin respecting and protecting myself with the establishment of boundaries. This has not been an easy process, because when you start setting boundaries, those who do not choose to respect those boundaries can become even more challenging to deal with. I still have much more that I want to learn. Hope you will join me on this journey.
IMAGE Above: Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_balaikin’>balaikin / 123RF Stock Photo</a>