My darling, sweet Topaz continues to teach me so much about myself. The latest topic: boundaries. How much wiggle room will I allow him before enforcing boundaries?
It made me veer outside of puppy training and look at what boundaries I enforce in my human relationships, too. How much justifying do I do (i.e. he's just a puppy) before I honor me (no more making me a human rawhide)? In other words, how far do I go before I say, "That's enough! I need to take care of me."
For me, part of the boundary setting includes the courage to speak my truth. If I am to set a boundary, I have to open my mouth and do something about it...and not worry about the consequences.
I notice how much I don't want the other person (or puppy!) to feel 'bad'. It is uncomfortable to bear witness to sadness or hurt that another endures because I chose to honor myself. But why is their emotional well-being more important than mine? What inspires the need to continually put me on the back burner?
The necessary caveat is that the boundary setting needs to be done from the heart and centered in love. For example, if Topaz needs a little kennel time out, I do it with a very even temperament. I don't toss him in his kennel. I don't yell at him and say mean things. I simply tell him to kennel up. As many of you have probably experienced, being even-tempered when setting boundaries with another person can be rather challenging.
Human relationships are equally as sensitive as those with our animals. But the bottom line remains the same: I have to put me first. Always. I have to love myself enough to know when things feel lopsided and do something about it.
In any type of relationship, a boundary needs to be consistently reinforced. One lapse and you're back to square one. Once the pattern is ingrained, it takes a lot of patience, trust, and commitment to make a change.
Here's the jackpot: love is always in the mix. The boundaries are set and held in love, deepening the bond and connection. If the other chooses not to honor the boundary, then there is a lack of respect and they can be held in love from a distance.
Is there a relationship in your life that would benefit from setting boundaries?
How often do you prioritize your needs and emotions over those of others?
Walking together in light, love, and peace.