Brene Brown has a YouTube video exploring Boundaries and Compassion, which I highly recommend seeing – maybe several times. I’ve experienced what I’m like when my boundaries are clear. And I’ve experienced my life when I’ve replaced boundaries with walls. The difference is huge.
According to Ms. Brown, boundaries are defined as – what’s OK, what’s not OK. What will I tolerate? Or not! Some boundaries have limits that apply across the board – like abuse of any kind. And I have different limits for different people. If a baby drools on me, I am WAY OK with that. Not so if it’s an adult. Boundaries are respectful of Who I AM, rendering me visible, defined, liberated, and far easier to deal with.
Walls are made of bricks of resentment, revenge, anger, hurt, fear. Those bricks may be invisible to the naked eye, but often are deeply buried and very tall – “safe isolation.” Truth breaks me free.
Boundaries are constructed of truth – this is Who I AM, this is who I am NOT. These are the true limits of my life at the moment, whether those limits are about time, integrity, health, family, career, finances, spirit, commitments I’ve made and intend to keep.
I’m OK if you’re not happy with my boundaries. It’s not my job to make you happy. It’s easier to be outwardly loving if, firstly, I’m being inwardly loving, respectful, honoring who I AM, honoring who you ARE.
PS On March 20, I’m leading an experiential public talk about boundaries. Come, bring friends. Houston@MoreToLife.org