Stone people in the desert

I Love You, But . . . ~ The Fine Art of Setting Boundaries

My stomach twitters with trepidation. It’s time to say something out loud, to the point, and directly to the person who needs to hear it. It’s not so much that I worry that I won’t be liked, that ship has sailed as they say. It has more to do with not wanting someone else to feel bad. Let’s face it, no matter how kindly we phrase something; the other person may react with defensiveness to cover up any feelings of inadequacy. In general, people don’t like to be called out ~ no matter how small or large their words and behaviors have slid down into the pits.

When we truly love someone (and a lot of us are now walking the path where we strive to love everyone) it is in their best interest to let them know when their words or behaviors are coming from a harmful place. What chance do they have to grow and make better choices if they don’t have the information? To suffer silently because of someone’s unloving ways is a denial of where healthy boundaries should be.

I found out that if I begin my dialog with, “I love you, but there’s something I need to say,” and continue from there; it sets the stage for the other person to know that I’m coming from a place of love. It settles me down too, as it reminds me that I’m taking loving good care of myself by giving information to others so they know how to respect and care for me better.

Breathe deep, send love through your eyes and heart, and give the information as . . . well . . . just information. No need to go over the top by dredging up a litany of evidence to sell your case. Then give the person space. They may (or may not) respond poorly from the get go, but, often over time, your words will penetrate a layer of self-reflection.

If they choose to ignore the information, it may be time to draw that red line in the sand. Reflect on what you are willing to do for yourself if that line is crossed. Do you need to pull away or find different avenues to fulfill your needs? Or is it mostly an inner issue about surrendering your attachment to the conflict? Even if it is the latter, if the outer circumstance doesn’t resolve itself, it may be time to set firmer boundaries.

I very much believe in the golden rule, but I am amazed how often people don’t treat themselves with the same deep loving care that they do for others. During this global time out, I encourage everyone to reflect on the most important conducts to engage in to care for your self. One of the best ways to do this is to know where your boundaries truly are, and then act to keep them in place.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

A red sun setting in a dark sky

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