Unfortunately, in many cases, boundaries aren’t established in a timely enough manner. By the time we put up those sky-high walls, where boundaries should have been in the first place, the damage that caused the construction of them is nearly irreparable. Knowing when and how to establish boundaries is imperative to your mental well-being and your sense of worth. Without good, sound boundaries, you’re likely unfocused, suffering from exhaustion and constantly caught up in drama and chaos. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. You would have found, however, a picture of me (nervous smile and all) under the words exhaustion, drama and chaos. I defined them because I had no solid boundaries established anywhere in my life.
A boundary marks a limit. You know not to cross into a highway lane that’s filled with traffic cones. We put up fences around our homes so that people know not to cross over onto our property.Those psychological boundaries that we establish protect us from emotional damage and helps define a level of personal dignity. In all honesty, I didn’t have clearly defined boundaries. I can’t think of any valid reasons why I didn’t. I just didn’t. In that light, I can’t really say people crossed them because they were never there. I can say that people took advantage of me because I was either afraid to speak up for myself because I didn’t want to make people mad or because I doubted my right to be upset. After years of repeated misuse, being mistreated and feeling trampled upon, the walls went up. They went up amazingly high.
Because I had no established boundaries, I decided to defend myself the best way I knew how. I build walls around my heart and learned to mask my feelings about anything that could be perceived as weakness or pain. My wall did exactly what it was constructed to do – protect my heart and keep others out. Well, that also meant that I was locked in. I created my own Alcatraz. It took a lot of work – I mean A LOT of work, to get myself to a point of balance.
I know very few people who are completely cynical and non-trusting. People like that lead very tired lives. They believe in nothing positive and no one stands a real chance of a friendship with that one. Most people who walk around like this don’t arrive there out of the blue.
That medium, that balance is created when you decide to create boundaries as opposed to walls. You are in complete control of your emotions, acts, actions, and reactions. While you can’t always control the way a person will try to treat you, you are in control of how long you allow that person to share your breathing space. Happiness is yours for the taking. No one can steal it unless they allowed to cross those boundaries. You are the guardian. Protect yourself without imprisoning yourself. It can be done.