Boundaries. It was an alien word to me until I started reading a book entitled “Beyond Boundaries” by Dr. John Townsend. I always thought that when someone crosses the line you don’t react to it but in all honesty I do and that’s the stage I am at. I am still developing and do feel pain or insult when it comes my way so pretending to not let it get to me isn’t being honest to myself. Honesty is the first step to self development. Another thing I learnt was when someone is rude or insulting (negative energy) send unconditional love to that person because the positivity you send will protect you from the negative words and tone coming from that person. But I realized I’m not there yet as well. When small things occur I let go easily but when someone insults or puts me down in ways that disturb me I need to draw boundaries to protect myself. I do not react by yelling or screaming but I do believe in self defense which means self respect and self value. I remember whenever I would have a tiff with a friend I’d be the one to bend down and initiate contact or even do something as “humbling” as saying sorry for doing no wrong. This I realized recently is sending a message that you can continue to mistreat me and I’ll forgive you and it’ll all be ok. That’s not the message I have in mind. But that’s the message others get when I bend over backwards when I shouldn’t. That’s just how our mind works. The person doing wrong doesn’t get a chance to introspect and reflect because I’ve made the attempt to patch things up. When someone is at fault they need to learn what they did wrong and the other person who is innocent shouldn’t step in and take the blame or responsibility. Boundaries isn’t something our culture teaches us because it focuses on “unconditional love” and “rise above it” principles but when we aren’t at that stage we need to be in accordance with how we feel so we can protect ourselves from further pain. Boundaries in a nutshell is putting a stop to behavior that is unacceptable to you and saying so to the other person. If words aren’t taken seriously then it’s time for actions to convey the seriousness of what they did. Letting it go is all well and good but then you 1) don’t stand up for yourself 2) don’t let the other person grow from what they are doing wrong. So if you opt for letting go just be aware that a behavior that is unacceptable to you will reoccur because you haven’t put your foot down. If you are truly fine with it inside and it doesn’t stir your state of mind / emotions then that’s great! You are nearing enlightenment and boy am I envious of you!

“Setting boundaries and not allowing negative or unruly behavior to affect your life are critical. A truly wise person will always be able to distinguish between what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior, and to act in accordance with this behavior. To accept unruly behavior is to insult yourself and to diminish what you are. Boundaries aren’t all bad. That’s why there are walls around mental institutions.” Gandhi