Friday, May 4, 2012

Setting Boundaries for Ourselves...

While I want to keep an open heart, I also need to remind myself to set my own boundaries. I'm not looking to put up a wall, or to try and control or confine others with my boundaries, but rather to set guidelines for my own heart that are necessary for my own personal fulfillment.

When we enter into relationships with others, everyone is initially on their best behavior. Slowly, our true selves start to emerge. Sometimes we like the things we see in the other person and sometimes we don't. Setting boundaries is a way to say "Hey, I can accept this, that and the other thing, but THAT, no thank you, that's not acceptable to me." And that's okay. That's healthy. Our inner voice lets us know when something is not sitting right with us. You have to be true to that voice. You can't expect behavior from others that you wouldn't adhere to yourself. If you find someone who wants to discuss it, work on it and figure a way around it... you now have a relationship. If you find someone who views your boundaries as a way of boxing them in, then you need to take another look at that relationship.

Sometimes the boundaries you set are met with resistance by others. Perhaps one person wants to set all the boundaries themselves and is not considering your own feelings and beliefs. That's not a relationship. Relationships are give and take. There has to be some compromise on both sides to have a working, functional, healthy partnership. It's easy to see your own point of view and much harder to reverse the roles in your head and imagine becoming the recipient of the behavior or belief. Think about it. Would I accept this kind of behavior? Would I like it if it was done to me? Chances are, you wouldn't, but sometimes we get caught up in "being right" instead of truly listening.

As a woman, and a nice one at that (if I do say so myself), sometimes I find it hard to speak up for myself. It's even harder to speak up when someone seems more "powerful" than myself. I can sometimes be shy or a little reserved and I am drawn to my natural opposites. I like loud, tell-it-like-it-is, no fear, I am who I am kind of people around me (I love these folks). But I have to speak up sometimes when my needs are not being met. My inner voice wont rest until it's heard. I know where I can compromise and where I'm not willing to. I know what I give in a relationship and I expect at least something similar to that. I'm not looking to get perfection, but some kind of balance. One person can't set the pace, the tone, the rules and define all of their needs without expecting any input from the other. That doesn't work. My inner voice keeps screaming to be heard and I have to let it out. If I don't, I am not being true to me.

Be true to yourself but be open to the boundaries set by others. Sometimes you can meet in the middle. Sometimes you can't. Only your heart can tell you what it needs. Listen to it...

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