"You just don’t understand unconditional love!” she said. I tried getting her to see that my refusal to lend money to people who wasted it wasn’t a lack of love, but my moral responsibility to act and live with boundaries. She maintained her position and though I pretended that I respected her oversimplified view of unconditional love—I was annoyed!
Later, as I reflected on my reaction, I realized that my argument wasn’t really with her. I was challenged by my own guilty conscience. My guilt wasn’t the product of feeling as if I was wrong, but it was rooted in my own personal struggles with boundaries.
I was taught that being good means you give, even when you don’t have it to share. I thought this sacrificial attitude separated the giving from the selfish. Life only reinforced this message as I was exposed to women who seemed willing to put everyone and everything above themselves.
Thankfully, over time, as my circle of friends grew, so did my definition of boundaries. The reality is that boundaries protect us—spiritually, financially, emotionally and mentally. As a coach, I have first-hand insight into how lacking boundaries contributes to emotional burnout, depression, debt and even keeps some people stagnant in their businesses and careers.
Applying and maintaining boundaries is critical to restoring your spirit. Here are some key things you need to understand:
1. Boundaries Give Freedom: Too many times in my life, I’ve lost sleep over someone else’s problems. And while I don’t mind supporting and caring for others as they face life’s challenges, something is wrong when we care more than the people directly affected. Knowing and owning your “stuff” is the first step to owning the life you want to live. Own your emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes. These things help make you—you!
2. Boundaries Give Us Self-Control: When we live focused on avoiding confrontation, we are giving up our control. Instead we are allowing others’ emotions to dictate our behaviors and decisions. When we lose self-control, we feel helpless, frustrated and resentful of our lives—and the people in them. Failure to deal with these emotions will eventually lead to a deep root of bitterness.
3. No Goes Both Ways: No is a complete sentence. It fully expresses an attitude, position or thought. As adults we must embrace its completeness. Equally important is respecting it from the mouths of others. Maturity is being able to “give” and “get” a no! While many of us lack boundaries, there are plenty of boundary pushers! It’s not always admirable to “not take no” for an answer. Sometimes the unwillingness to relent is simple bullying and abuse.
Do Your Work: Practice boundaries. Be conscious of what you see, think and feel. Then be committed to expressing and honoring it with your actions. Click here to join me 7 PM EDT, Wednesday, May 28th for my free “Restore You” Teleseminar with special guest Michelle Hargrove of Restoration Weekend to learn how boundaries can help you!
Define Your Wealth: Affirm out loud: “I honor and practice respect for my boundaries and others.”
Named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Coach Felicia is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to "Turn their Worth into Wealth" as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.