“Boundary setting is a large part of maturing. We can’t really love until we have boundaries—otherwise we love out of compliance and guilt.”
~Cloud & Townsend, Boundaries,
Relationships begin at their core at the state of two selves, individually and in combination. No one who lives irresponsibly to themselves can possibly live to a great extent for someone else. First we must be more-or-less whole people.
This concept of boundaries—where I finish and you start and vice versa—is enshrined in responsibility. It takes account of truth in entity form. It respects this truth—the world limited to me; a place I can easily encroach and offend if I’m not careful.
Boundary setting at the personal level is hence the foundation and pre-requisite of acceptance of boundary setting at the level of the relationship, given that personal responsibility is the act of creating and maintaining effective boundaries, for instance, self control.
Where we have flimsily constructed and therefore poorly defined and understood boundaries, love flails. We want to love and we know that love is the intrinsic desire of our hearts but we have no context with which to work with, much like trying to fish is when we have no knowledge of the waters we’re fishing in.
Living in the lap of a boundaried existence is really about being communicative about expectations and knowing when to correctly say “yes” and when to say “no” in accord with the relationship situations we find ourselves in. It’s safe ground for us and them.
Because the boundaries are communicated and tried and fed back within the relationship both partners are taking responsibility for their parts in the relationship.
And therefore freedom—in the relational sense—co-exists between the two with the adherence to these boundary truths.
Furthermore, freedom between two in such a way propagates the best of love—a love that’s safe and free to explore within the realms of a wide area of safety.
And although the boundaries don’t grow outwardly of themselves, the previously known boundaries of trust and respect are expanded. Confidence is known beyond that which was ordinarily known previously.
Confidence in faith is a wonderfully hope-purposed arrangement as a positive outlook fills the spiritual and psychological landscape of both the relationship and the individuals concerned.
Finally, the boundaried existence—when it is shared—is fundamentally the halcyon of life itself. We have reached a place here of God and the heavens—in the presence of the angels—and still we get to enjoy this earth; together, safe, free, and at peace.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.