“Boundaries” from the book Pillars of Awesome Relationships
Are you longing for emotional intimacy? Would you like the skills to turn conflict into closeness? Did you start off with a great connection with your partner? Do you feel like your connection has been lost and replaced with a mountain of hurt, frustration, anger, and resentment? This book, Pillars of Awesome Relationships, is all about creating intimacy on the emotional, spiritual, and physical levels and learning how to turn disagreements into understanding and acceptance so that your relationship can be a blessing on your sacred journey AND SETTING BOUNDARIES IS A VITAL PART OF THAT JOURNEY!!!!!!!
Setting boundaries is one of the most important skills we can ever learn in creating awesome relationships. Most of us were taught to not set boundaries (and our parents and others modeled not setting them) in order to avoid the emotional outburst or hurt feelings that may result. Therefore, few of us have skill at setting, enforcing, and feeling at ease with boundaries.
The truth is that sometimes we have to set boundaries and say “no.” Saying “no” and setting boundaries allows us to stay in integrity. In order to more fully say “yes” (which is also setting boundaries) to what we want and who we are, we must be able to say “no” to what we don’t want and who we are not. Setting boundaries protects us from harm and gives us the space to be who we truly are.
For more on boundaries and staying in integrity in relationships CLICK HERE.
I am constantly amazed at the lengths some people will go to in order to avoid setting boundaries. In fact, the prospect of setting boundaries brings up so much anxiety for some people that it’s one of the most common reasons clients drop out of therapy. They simply don’t want to deal with setting boundaries; instead, they hope the situation will just get better on its own. Most often, these are the same people who find themselves in relationships where they feel unappreciated, taken advantage of, and dismissed. Setting boundaries will remedy most of these problems.
How do you set boundaries with kindness and compassion so that you enrich your relationship and your partner appreciates you for setting boundaries? Order your copy HERE and learn how in Chapter Seven!
Let me share a good example of why we all need to set boundaries. When we’re in a heated argument, being honest and real (being authentic) with the other person makes us vulnerable. Many of us see vulnerability as a weakness (we don’t see it as a good thing that needs boundaries) because experience has taught us that when we’re vulnerable, we get hurt. This does not mean that vulnerability is bad, though. It means that the other person is not being vulnerable, is not being emotionally responsible, and does not recognize and value authenticity—and it means that we need to draw strong boundaries with that person (and sometimes with ourselves about what we will and will not tolerate).
We have to be able to set boundaries and say “no” in any relationship. Being able to say “no” to people and things that are not good for us (setting boundaries) gives us the safety and freedom to say “yes” and drop deeper into emotional intimacy with people who are good for us. When we don’t feel emotionally safe in a relationship or when we feel as if a part of us is not welcome, we don’t feel safe to bring all of who we are (obviously boundaries are needed.) Then we can’t really be authentic, which as is discussed in Chapter Two of Pillars of Awesome Relationships, is part of walking a path of enlightenment and is the foundation of awesome relationships.
Two common types of situations call for us to set boundaries. One is when we feel like someone is violating our space in some way; in that case, setting boundaries is necessary to remain emotionally or physically safe. The second situation, which is more innocent but can be just as powerful, is when we are letting someone know how we feel. All emotional sharing is not setting boundaries, but sometimes sharing how we feel with someone can be a wonderful, disarming way of setting boundaries and letting the other person know that we are not satisfied with what is going on or with what is not going on in a relationship.