Loving Boundaries


Please read the following Title and Statement aloud. 

 Whta’s Thsi? 

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it doens;t mttaer in what odrer the ltters in a wrod are, the only iprmoetnt tginh is that seom of the ltters aer in eht rghit pclae. Eht rset can be a ttoal mses and you can sitll gte the masesge.

Did you get the message? Even though it was somewhat scattered?

Do you receive messages from others that seem confusing? Yet with loving awareness can be the message be understood?  

PhD Meg Blackburn Losey defines disconnect as “a series of simplicities that have become entangled.”

Think jewelry.  Necklaces lying side by side that innocently becomes entangled and how difficult it can be to separate. To return to alignment. We live in a world filled with layer upon layer of spectrums. No wonder the entanglement and confusion. 

Yet, separation is an equal part of our disconnect and confusion problem.

Example:  A working wife is frustrated and needs downtime after a hectic workday, while child tending househusband fails to honor that need.  His need for quiet time anticipates mom being mom for a while. And what about the children and their respective needs?   

I think of the Special Olympics race and the little boy who was ahead of the group. He saw the others behind him, turned around and started running toward them, saying, “Let’s all win together.” 

Need vs. need. Trouble ensues in any relationship when prevailing attitudes are “my need is more important than your need.” We are needy individuals, and it is okay to have your needs met. With loving boundaries, needs can be met and sustained in ways that are good for you and for the whole.

The value of appreciation. A gem well-tended goes up in value.  A home well maintained goes up in value. Anything that appreciates goes up in value. An authentic appreciation of another’s role lends to understanding and a willingness to negotiate. Having an appreciation of your contribution to the situation gives you the confidence to firmly, yet kindly, set your boundaries of what you do need or do not need, what you will do or will not do. The message becomes clear, not garbled and disconnecting.   

The value of reinforcement. Sometimes a person has good intentions yet fails to follow through. If your boundaries are not honored, speak up with a gentle reminder. Dialogue occurs easiest when there is negotiation rather than orders.  Say something like, “Have you forgotten our agreement for decompression space when I get home?” At times, it may be necessary that you kindly speak up again and again until they “get it”. Graciously accept a slip and an apology.

Find an adequate alternative. On the way home, stop by your favorite coffee shop for quiet time. Don your headphones and jogging suit and go to the park. 

Delay is not denial. Perhaps your need to be self-nurtured outweighs your need to interact. Perhaps his need for companionship outweighs his need to respect your space. Perhaps the kids need for attention outweighs another put off.  What about a switch-a-roo? Give a little to get a little.  Enter with a loving embrace for all, share a few moments of casual conversation with each – being genuinely concerned about each other’s day - then slip away for solitude.

It is my consensus that the most mature one in the relationship will make the most concessions. But never do so at the expense of you. Stuffing your irritation and later exploding is unfair to all. Make relating more important than being right. When sacrifice is for the betterment of all, it transcends, and is no longer a sacrifice.