IT’S UP TO ME
what I allow & what I don’t agree to!
PREVIOUS: Are you an ACoA?
SITE: “Vision & Self-Knowledge” – CHARTS
Joy2MeU: “One task in recovery is to learn to realign our defense system with healing and Love instead of with self-destruction.”
“Learning how to set boundaries is a necessary step in learning to be a friend to ourselves. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves – to protect ourselves when it is necessary. It is impossible to learn to be Loving to ourselves without owning our self – and owning our rights and responsibilities as co-creators of our lives.”
“It is impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone who has no boundaries, with someone who cannot communicate directly, and honestly”
BOUNDARIES (Bs) are an essential component of physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health (PMES). Bs are the beneficial “rules of relationships”. They represent the opposite of manipulation. The difference between asserting boundaries & being manipulative? When we are setting a boundary, we let go of the result!
• Children are not born with a built-in concept of Bs, being more likely to resist any sort of limits put on them – so it’s natural for them to test how much they can get away with. However, because the world is a big, overwhelming, unpredictable, & therefore scary place – they have a great need for appropriate Bs & actually feel safer when provided. No matter how much children may struggle against Bs at first, when parents gently insist & persist, most of them learn & adapt to legitimate rules quite easily.
• Nourishing parents are both good role models and good teachers
of Bs. They set limits that are: age appropriate, reasonable & consistent, in ways the child can understand. When taught to have healthy Bs, children become well-mannered & confident adults.
a. Too MUCH – Limits that are too narrow & rigid for a child will make them afraid :
— to express their creativity, imagination, sense of possibilities
— to think for themselves or take independent actions without being told what to do, think or feel
— of taking any kind of risk, even normal ones
— to reach their highest potential, prevent them from expressing their true self, keep their ‘light under a bushel’
AND THEN, some kids will eventually rebel by not wanting any limits! They go haywire & end up harming themselves & others
b. Too LITTLE – Too loose or non-existent Bs create children who:
— feel uncared for by parents, not important enough to guide
— are rude, disruptive & disrespectful in the world, any time, any place limits are set for them
— don’t know how to get along with others, often get into trouble & experience being disliked by most people
— think they’re entitled to anything & everything
— ignore all forms of authority
— allow for too many options, don’t give guidelines as to where to draw the line in dealing with self or others. This creates a great deal of confusion for children so they become afraid to venture out into the world, for fear of being constantly overwhelmed or making a fool of themselves
• Both styles damage children’s self-esteem because unconditional love is missing in childhood. Both styles indicate parental dysfunction & concern for their own needs at their children’s expense. (Good vs bad parenting – compare w/ Healthy Parenting, from ACoA website)
Boundaries are about:
• protecting our body, our identity, our rights, our values
• expressing our needs, wants & preferences
• making it clear what is acceptable, or not, from others
• choosing who & what we want to allow into our lives
PREREQUISITE for having Bs
We cannot develop Bs if we don’t believe we have rights, since activating Bs means expressing those right, so we have to:
• know what our need* are – both those common to all humans, and those specific to our true self (not the damaged self!)
• have internal permission to acknowledge & honor those needs, in opposition to the PP voice
• actively provide those needs, both for ourselves & with the help of others when appropriate
*NEEDS – fundamental ones common to all people, everywhere, in all time-frames, from absolute necessities to the most precious: Subsistence, Protection, Affection, Understanding, Participation, Leisure, Creation, Identity, Freedom.
NEXT: Boundaries Defined (Part 2)