As of late, I keep encountering people, both within my counsel and without, who seem to have trouble understanding the concept of having solid life boundaries. No matter what the issue that people are dealing with, it can invariably be traced to NOT having solidly defined boundaries for their lives. In fact, it seems that some that I encounter have almost no boundaries at all.
Frankly, those who do not have clearly defined boundaries for their lives are operating in dangerous territory. As I’ve stated before, to move forward (away from the pain, problems and frustrations) a person must have control of his ship (life). However, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to be or possibly shipwrecked for life. Having proper boundaries helps us define our path and stay focused, so that this doesn’t happen.
From a practical standpoint, I often ask my clients, “What are your goals – What are your boundaries?” Upon asking about “goals”, most can quickly come up with a list of ideal things that they’d like to accomplish in life. Unfortunately, none of these goals will ever be fully realized without healthy boundaries. Furthermore, when I continue to ask the question, “What are your boundaries?” – they usually look at me with a blank expression.
The fact of the matter is that not only do many not have clearly defined goals, but even worse is that most people do not set clearly defined boundaries for themselves.
Right now, if you’re somewhere you don’t want to be, feeling frustrated and alone, overweight and uncomfortable, dealing with a secret addiction or having an affair, overly anxious about something, in a dead-end career, in debt way over your head, or just simply stuck in a rut – YOU DO NOT HAVE CLEARLY DEFINED BOUNDARIES.
And just so you know, a BOUNDARY is an assigned limit for yourself, beyond which you DO NOT OPERATE. It’s the “line drawn in the sand.” It’s the line YOU DO NOT CROSS. If you don’t have boundaries, you don’t know who you are. If you don’t know who you are, you will NEVER be truly happy, nor will you ever be able to have stability in your life. A person without healthy boundaries is a person without direction.
The following wellness diagram is not all inclusive, but it does give an idea of the characteristics that relate to operating within and/or without a clearly defined boundary system. If you have no set boundaries, then most likely you’re operating in the red with an occasional meandering into the green. If you have clearly defined boundaries, then the characteristics that appear within the green circle should very well represent your life.
It’s your job to figure out what things you should do to stay within the circle of health above, as well as the things that you should not do to incur the negative characteristics in the red.
If you need help with this, click here so I can help you figure this out.