The Well-Shaped Heart

Children are born without psychological boundaries. And if they don’t learn some in their developmental years, they grow into adults with large bodies and still, no boundaries. Ugh … not so pretty.

There are two types of boundaries: Protective and Containing.

A protective boundary is like an outer shell of insulation that protects me from the outside world. Without a solid protective boundary, I am vulnerable to every stimuli penetrating my heart and knocking me off my center. In other words, I am doomed to take everything personally as if it were true and about me. A protective boundary serves as a wall with a gate. When information gets sent my way, it gets stopped at the gate, and the question asked: “is it true or not true?” If it is true or partially true, the information comes into my heart and head for reflection and possible ownership. If it is not true, it is deflected as if a stone is hitting the armor of a knight.   Information that is not true “pings” right off and does not make it to the soft spot in my heart.  

A containing boundary is the inner filter that protects the world from me. I have no right to open my mouth and say what I want to say, when I want to say it, how I want to say it. I am no longer two years old.   Like the tight-squeezed girdle that your grandmother wore, a containing boundary holds me in till I can rationally decide if I need to talk and then how to talk so that what I am saying comes out respectful and relational. In other words, verbal vomit, TMI and oral abuse are not acceptable adult behavior if personal integrity and healthy relationships are goals one aspires to.

So, go get some boundaries and solidify them with practice, practice and more practice. Having some will improve your emotional resiliency and your relationships.

 

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