Boundaries...Fences with Gates!!!

Mary Beitz
I am a Daughter, a Sister, a Wife, a Mother of many, an Aunt, a Grandmother, an encourager, Friend & Confidante!!! I have been blessed with a positive perspective (for the most part…a work in progress in others), with a glass half full attitude and a sense of humour that has held me up in good times and bad. I have always appreciated being able to reach out, seek information, surrounding myself with women who believe in supporting one another, encouraging, sharing & mentoring. As I enter another season in my life I feel led to share some of the things that I have gleaned in my life so far on a larger stage. We will talk about Family, Friendship, Relationships, Children, Leadership, Compassion, Work, Food, Empathy, Responsibility, Menopause, Marriage, etc. May you be encouraged…laugh often! Ours is not a solitary journey. We women are relational creatures. I believe that we are the best support for one another! Here’s to a Beautiful New Friendship!!!

Oct 18,2016

Boundary ~ Simple Definition of boundary. : something (such as a river, a fence, or an imaginary line) that shows where an area ends and another area begins. : a point or limit that indicates where two things become different. boundaries : unofficial rules about what should not be done : limits that define acceptable behavior.

As a child, I watched, listened and mirrored behaviors around me. My earliest reasoning of boundaries were walls. Walls around the house, walls around the jail in town, walls that house my school, and walls that I built around my heart to stop hurts, shaming, meanness and loneliness.

Boundaries by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud was a pivotal read for me…a Paradigm shift in my thinking and how I reshaped my interaction with those around me.

Personal boundaries are fences with gates, and you are “The Gate Keeper”. If I don’t keep my gate closed and manage who I choose to let in and who I choose to keep out, the consequences of experiences enjoyed/suffered are mine and mine alone. Being a “Gate Keeper” is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. The realization that I had the power to empower myself, to “keep my yard nice and green without letting anything thing come in and mess it up” was exhilarating and terrifying. Exhilarating because I could become a stronger me, and terrifying because I knew there’d be push back.

Push back comes in many forms. Anger because you’re working your “No” muscle, anger because you’ve always relented and added another thing to your mountain of over commitments because you’re a problem solver, a helper, a fixer…sound familiar? The silent treatment or shaming in front of peers/co-workers/family so as to embarrass you into a yes…social pressure. Being ostracized, shunned and ignored by those that use the fulcrum of manipulation to accomplish their end game. The list is endless.

I was having a discussion with one of my girlfriends the other day, discussing family/life, relationships that needed to be tended to like a garden. Weeds that have grown tall with deep tap roots, suffocating the heart, limiting the crop of time, patience, kindness, wisdom and love that we all need to grow and nurture.

“There is time for everything…and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, as time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak (Eccl 3;1-7)

We discussed the dynamics of the comings and goings, how the words, deeds and actions of ourselves & those around us affect us, and the choices we make as “Gatekeepers” of our lives. We smiled wearily as we shared the push back, which is inevitable, and the peace earned from firmly planting our feet because we’ve made the decision to man our gates, choose our guests, and grow our love of self in the process.

 

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