Boundaries Defined (#1)
Joy2MeU: “One task in recovery is to learn to re-align our defense system with healing & Love, instead of self-destruction.”
VISUAL IMAGES of Boundaries (Bs)
a. As a ZIPPER
Bs can be seen as an impermeable but clear energy container completely surrounding us, with an invisible zipper down the front, from head to toe. We can see out & others can see us, but we are inside a protective shield. The zipper allows for easy access, but what’s of major importance is whether the zipper tab in on the inside or the outside!
➖ EXTERNAL: If the tab is on the outside, anyone we invade us by pulling it up or down, as they please, so we’re always at the mercy of others
➕ INTERNAL: If it’s on the inside, then WE decide when to open ourselves up – or not. ALSO, how far down we pull the tab speaks to how much of ourselves we choose to expose, depending on the situation & our current state of mind (even with the same person or environment).
b. As our SKIN (like on our body) IT:
• breathes, so it lets toxins out and take in nutrients
• can be injured, but also repaired
• covers us completely, thus containing all our physical components
• is elastic, so can expand & contract….
PURPOSE of Boundaries
They are ‘Ego Barriers’ which are needed to guard our Inner Space, so we can:
1. Deal with the OUTSIDE WORLD positively
• by Screening : protect from danger or unpleasantness, TO
— cut down intake of too much noise, info, activities, people
— eliminate toxic people, substances, locations – whenever possible
— protect from subtle manipulation, too many demands, confusing communications – anything that can inundate us
• by Interpreting: understand the specific meaning of something
— TO be able to read people & situations accurately
— not assume everyone or everything is dangerous to us
— correctly assess what someone is saying or wanting from us
— think of 2-3 different causes for events – not just bad ones
2. Manage our INTERACTIONS with the world
• by Modulating oneself: temper, soften, tone down, vary, TO
— not over-react to ‘normal’ situations
— choose when & where to be boisterous vs silent, angry or rageful, when to fight vs back down….
— know when to say something & when not to, and how
• by Regulating oneself: adjust according to a standard in order to insure success, TO
— behave appropriately, depending on the venue & event – based on self-respect
— pick the right time to ask questions, conduct business, communicate our upset or bad news…. with someone
— accomplish a goal : follow the rules of the relevant group we want to interact with – if not in conflict with our personal values
QUADRANTS of Interaction — dealing with struggles, using Bs
Q 1 – Open with Self : identify Bs you can practice on yourself, setting limits on self-defeating acts
Q 2 – Open with others : be available to help or participate with, as it fits who you are
Q 3 – Closed with Others : about the Takers in life, so be sure to set PMES limits with them, to protect your energy output
Q 4 – Closed with Self : TOO self-disciplined – need to release rigid Bs. Take breaks & put the joy back into your life.
NEXT: Boundaries & ACoAs (Part 1)