Outer boundaries are meant to be respected; inner boundaries are meant to be crossed.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. All of us have boundaries and limits, some more clearly defined than others. We create external boundaries with others to ensure we’re treated appropriately and that the role we’re willing to play for others is clear. Our inner boundaries tend to define our comfort zones, what feels normal, possible, and useful to us.
The boundaries we set for each other enforce respectful interactions. We don’t take advantage of each other and also don’t take each other for granted when there are firmly delineated lines we know not to cross. Boundaries help take the guess work out of relationships.
Over time, we’ve also developed internal boundaries defining who we believe we are and how we tend to act. “I’m a conscientious vegan.” “I always have worn a center part in my hair.” “I’d never consider taking a vacation alone.” “I’ve always voted for the [fill in the blank] party.” Internal boundaries do simplify our choices and our lives, but they also place self-imposed limits on us.
Today’s message reminds me of the value and pitfalls of having boundaries. I’ll want to ensure others respect me by establishing healthy boundaries while also honoring others and the lines they draw. Being aware of the limits I set for myself, I can review them as they arise, to ensure they’re helpful. It’s good for me to expand out of my comfort zone at times.
How about you? Have you reviewed your boundaries recently?