On Developing Healthy Boundaries In Relationships
Posted on December 7, 2022
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know, what I was walling in or walling out?” – Robert Frost
When you ask people about walls and what they are good at, they will usually answer somewhere along the lines of “They are good at keeping things out.”
Yes! Very true.
I usually ask a follow up question after that, “What else are they good for?” You wouldn’t imagine the pause and dead silence after that.
Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.
Alright so I’ll give it to you. As good as walls are for keeping things out, they also do a damn good job of keeping things in.
This is exactly where the trouble is when it comes to our daily lives.
We build walls for many reasons: fear, pain, regret, doubt, worry…I mean the list goes on and on. In fact, the more pain we go through the more walls we build. We build them higher, double-back them, and try to make them indestructible all with the intent of keeping out those bad experiences again.
And unfortunately, when you are trying to keep out the negative, you are also keeping in the positives.
Remember those gifts you’ve been given?
They never get to come out to play.
They stay trapped inside because you have created a bit of a prison for yourself.
It can get worse.
Since you didn’t build any doors…because why would you ever want to give the negative emotions a weak spot in the wall to exploit, you’ve failed to create any form of fire escape.
And as life would have it, it loves to shoot a fiery arrow into your village and start up something good.
I think you know where this is going – no fire escape, a fire in the village, and a whole lot of hay laying around – trouble. In fact, when chaos arrives like this, more often than not, everything burns to the ground.
Walls can numb you.
They can turn you to ice.
Because without experiencing life in it’s fullest and everything that it has to offer, negative and positive, you aren’t actually living at all.
You’re just surviving.
You’re doing exactly what it takes to get by.
You aren’t thriving…and that’s the only place where your best stuff lives.
These walls that you’ve built served you at one time in protecting your heart, but now they are just hurting you. They are hurting you because you can’t grow from that trapped place anymore. You can’t experience what you need to experience to help you continue to develop.
The negative emotions stay out (for the most part) but those positive qualities that you have – the potential that you have discovered – those stay in.
They will never come out when you are living safe inside of your comfort zone.
That’s just the reality.
You have to tear down the walls that you think are protecting you and be willing to experience the open fields where everything and anything is possible.
Scary? Yes of course.
But when you do that, you allow yourself to strengthen and grow instead of living in fear. All of those things you were keeping out, you can learn to work with them. That’s part of this program here.
So break down your walls and come out to play.
This is where all the change is.
Action Steps For Today
Intention: To cultivate a deep awareness of why you have built walls and what positive qualities they are keeping out
Practice: What Are The Walls I’ve Built
Today, sit down and write out in your journal the painful events that have taken place in your life. Write them out in as much detail as you are comfortable with. Then, underneath each event, list out the ways you have constructed walls or protect yourself from those events happening again.
Discover your walls. What are these walls keeping out? What are these walls keeping in?
See what you can do to take these walls down brick by brick. See what you are willing to make some movement on. Every step you take is another step towards freedom.