Boundary: Something that indicates a border or limit; something that indicates the farthest limit, as of an area; border.
Welcome to 2012!
While many folks are kicking off their new year with resolutions, diet plans and new hairdo’s, God is leading me down a much more complex and challenging path called establishing boundaries.
It’s unfortunate that I’ve lived most of my life without understanding, appreciating or having many boundaries for myself. I have spent the entire 34 years of my life respecting and abiding within the boundary lines of others.
What is my limit?
When do I say enough is enough? Where do I draw the line?
God speaks to me in the simplest of ways sometimes.
My children have the run of my home. We don’t live in a china shop. They are loud, playful and full of energy from the time their little eyes pop open in the morning until they droop in sleep at night. I was speaking with my sister by phone the other night and we were discussing the various tasks and chores that we needed to accomplish. I talked about my need to clean my bedroom and joked, “My room looks like Matt and Cait’s room! I’ve got their clothes and toys everywhere!” Then, the conversation flowed this way. I said, “Remember when we were little how going in mama and daddy’s room was like an event?! I mean, it was a sacred space that we never got to chill in or run around in”. Then the light came on. I said to my sister, “I get it. Mama and daddy made their room off limits. Because they did, it always stayed neat and clean. Maybe if I did the same thing, my room would stay neat!”
How far is too far?
How much is too much?
Is it when he calls you “bitch”?
Is it when she steals your money?
Is it when he slaps your face?
Is it when he cheats on you?
Is it when she talks about you behind your back?
I believe I developed a coping mechanism as a child that allowed me to put things that distressed me and angered me in another place that I couldn’t access in my consciousness. I remember wrongs but I don’t hold them like grudges. It’s quite weird to explain to someone who’s outside of my head. But my family and friends have seen it and witnessed it first hand. It’s the reason why I took ex’s back after horrible offenses and restored them to the place they were before it ever happened. No consequences. No guilt trips. No anger and revenge. Silence. Smiles.
Now that I’m 34, it’s as if the Holy Spirit is allowing the spotlight to be turned on me. For years, I focused on others; my parents, my friends, my boyfriends, my children.
I had to right everyone else’s wrongs and make sure everyone else was ok.
I had to mediate and facilitate.
But not anymore.
It’s almost as if God has pulled up a chair and commanded me to be seated.
Put a mirror in my hand and said “Look”.
I have the most amazing spiritual leaders a human being could be graced to receive. I love them both completely. Their love is sincere. They walk with God. You feel His presence when in their presence. This sincerity of love comforts but it also exposes the weak, flimsy and fake portions of my foundation.
It’s chipping away at who I thought I was and making me into who I was meant to be.
That process isn’t always easy and I’ve been told I haven’t even gotten to the nitty gritty yet.
Already my heart is racing, stomach is in a knot and eyes are watering.
It hurts to see inside yourself.
But where else can I get this much needed heart surgery than in the company of skilled, loving spiritual surgeons?
I need them. I haven’t had them. My bedroom looks like an extension of my children’s shared bedroom.
I am not a dirty person but I am cluttered.
The simplest definition of clutter is “many things out of place”.
Once things are returned to their proper place and forced to remain there, the room takes on the appearance of order and neatness.
My life has been cluttered because I haven’t had boundaries.
I become mute and silent when I should speak.
I erupt like a volcano that no one understands because I refused to say in the moment what bothered me. Why?
I never had permission to say what I felt as a child.
The adult thought she still had to play by a child’s rules.
I really don’t care what anyone thinks of this particular blog entry.
I gotta be me, the real me.
It’s not always pretty, cute and well manicured.
But this year, for the first time, I want to get down to the root of things.
I want help. I want to be healed and whole.
I don’t want to climb to the top of the hill and watch the stone roll all the way back down.
I want to be married.
I want a loving home for my children to live in.
I’m not going to get any of that with an unwillingness to be dealt with, disciplined, and taught. I’m not going to be where I want to be if I don’t submit to the process.
I had no idea I didn’t understand the need for boundaries in my life until people started crossing them in bigger, bolder ways.
See, that’s the thing.
Once you allow someone to cross a line, that’s not the only line they’ll ever cross.
They become more bold, more aggressive, more intrusive.
Eventually, you’ll be held hostage to their demands, a slave to their wants.
A prisoner of your own life.
Not this year.
Stop right there.