Saturday, December 11, 2010

Laws of Boundaries

“You only have the power to change yourself. You can’t change another person”
Ok-going back to boundaries (previous posts on boundaries: basics, active process, burnout-1, and burnout-2). So each of us are responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Not those of others. There are 10 Laws of Boundaries that I'll talk about-split into 2 posts. (this is from Cloud & Townsend's book called Boundaries)

1.     The Law of Sowing & Reaping: When we try to take responsibility from others, we try to cover up their mistakes or save them from pain. Someone else besides the “doer” is experiencing the consequences. Someone who continually rescues another is a codependent. The codependent “co-signs the note of life for the irresponsible person.” Healthy boundaries “force the person who is doing the sowing to also do the reaping” (p. 85).

2.     The Law of Responsibility: We are to LOVE one another, not BE one another. We can’t grow or change for another person-they must do the work themselves. This is truly loving to another person. When we take responsibility from them, we don’t give them a chance to learn to stand on their own two feet, grow, or learn for themselves.

3.     The Law of Power: You may not have the power to break addictions or unhealthy patterns on your own, but you have the power to seek out others who can help us, we have the power to accept advice, and we have the power to practice implementing new patterns. You may not have the power to change others, but you do have the power to influence others & exhibit healthy behaviors.

4.     The Law of Respect: In setting boundaries, one fear is that others won’t respect our boundaries, or that people will walk away from the relationship. However, even if we don’t understand or agree with the boundaries of others, we need to respect others (do unto others what you would have them do to you= If I wish for my boundaries to be respected then I need to respect the boundaries of others).  If we can learn to accept other’s choices, we can let go of a lot of fear, guilt, or anxiety.

5.     The Law of Motivation: There are false motives for helping others (or taking responsibility for their loads): Fear of loss of love or abandonment, fear of others’ anger, fear of loneliness, fear of losing the “good me” inside, guilt, payback (feel burden to pay for all that you’ve been given), approval, & over identification with the other’s loss. “We were called into freedom, and this freedom results in gratitude, an overflowing heart, and love for others” (Cloud & Townsend, p. 92).  This law operates under the freedom first, service second. What’s service when it’s done out of fear or obligation?

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